Best Director

Anja Hiddinga Flag of NL

Film: Imaginings


Anja Hiddinga has made various documentaries and experimental films around sign language and deafness. Among these are the award-winning poetry films in sign language: Growth, (IFFR 2003) Polder, Reflection, Strand and Fire (IFFR 2005) and the documentary I Sign, I Live (Picture for Picture Festival, 2012). She is researcher at the University of Amsterdam.
Her last project was the short ethnographic film The embodiment of culture (2020/21), that was shown at Ethnography Filmfestival, Paris.

Hrysto Flag of FR

Film: Pas le choix


Christophe Ho, called "Hrysto", is a director and filmmaker born in 1977. He made his first appearances in 2001 in the play "Poika Ja Puu" by Junho Saarinen. He had his first collaboration with IVT (International Visual Theater) in 2004 as an artistic advisor to Thierry Roisin and Bachir Saifi for "Scènes de Silence". From then on, Hrysto kept participating in IVT's work. He is an actor in "La Marseillaise", a chanson play directed by Philippe Carbonneaux, or in "Donjon de Vincennes" by Bachir Saifi. 

In 2007, he was an actor in "Le Petit Prince" by Cie Visuel Art, directed by Maria Fitzi. 

Thanks to these various participations in workshops and internships, he acquired training as a puppeteer (Canal+) and acted in "Entre chien et loup" by François Guizaix. He has worked mainly with IVT and the company "La Parole aux mains" directed by Antoine de la Morinerie, Philippe Carbonneaux, François Guizeix, Rolf Kasteleiner.... worked. 

In 2010, he was an actor in "Pourquoi?" directed by Delphine Leleu and with Ludovic Ducasse. In the same year, he was an actor leader in "Vagues à l'âme" by Carine Kermin. 

Also in 2010, he turned to directing based on his experience and directed the play "Le Petit 'Grand Guignol' Rouge" produced by the structure "Des mots plein les Mains". He then directed more than seven different performances, most of which were produced by IVT. Today he is finishing his first medium-length film entitled "Pas le choix", which he started in 2015.

MJ Kiego Flag of US

Film: Raising CODAs


MJ is a multi-generational Deaf and queer filmmaker that graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013 with a BFA in Film. She is currently in the Radio/Television/Film MFA Film Production program at the University of Texas in Austin. She worked with the award-winning Motion Light Lab housed at Gallaudet University as their production specialist, and is the Media Director for Copper & Water, where she collaborates on video projects for the Deaf community.
An avid cinematographer, she is licensed to film underwater with the PADI underwater videography certification. She also loves filming with 8, 16, and 35mm film.
She has directed and produced over 10 short films that have been submitted to various international film festivals. MJ wants to share amazing stories from the Deaf community created by talented Deaf individuals with the rest of the world.

Palmer Morse Flag of US

Film: Elevated


Palmer is a multi-disciplinary award-winning filmmaker who focuses on using the devices at hand in our visual and media culture that can drive our society to make change. As a Director, Producer, DP, and Editor, his work has been shown in National Geographic, PBS, New York Times, Outside Magazine and in film festivals around the world garnering awards and high praise. A Swiss Army knife of knowledge and skills, you'll often hear him planning his next shoot as often as you'll find him on set holding a camera or sitting in the editing room. Interested in stories of humans, our planet, and the interactions of the two, Palmer often works with organizations, non-profits, and brands in honing in on their mission in a visual format.

Beyond his advocacy work through film, Palmer has been privileged to Direct music videos for artists such as Still Woozy and Moonchild.

He currently lives in Oakland, California, on the homelands of the Ohlone peoples, and is the Co-Founder of Spruce Tone Films.