Sunny Side of the Doc 2024: Meet the Mentors

By providing pitch participants with the opportunity to learn from industry experts, the mentorship programme by Sunny Side of the Doc aims to support emerging filmmakers in building strong pitches to secure funding for their projects. Project holders who will pitch their documentaries at Sunny Side of the Doc 2024 received support from experienced practitioners, including Irena Taskovski (President and founder of Taskovski Films and #Docsconnect), Neda Lukic (Festivals & Education Manager, Taskovski Films), Christilla Huillard-Kann (Producer, Elda Productions), Elvira Lind (Consultant) and Khadidja Benouataf (President, Impact Social Club).

While all project holders had the opportunity to meet with a mentor before the pitch sessions, participants will continue to receive tailored assistance during and after Sunny Side of the Doc to maximize their pitching experience.

In association with Taskovski #DocsConnect

Sunny Side of the Doc has teamed up with Taskovski #DocsConnect to offer a complete pitch training programme to project holders selected for the pitch sessions (Global Pitch and Sunny Side of the Doc).

Taskovski #DocsConnect Training for Conscious Creative Leaders is an international, tailor-made professional training and networking hub led by award-winning industry experts. The program aims to empower conscious filmmakers and creative industry entrepreneurs to grow personally and professionally. Our workshops and training cover development, the art of pitching, co-production, financing, publicity, marketing, impact strategies, outreach, and importantly, sessions on mental health prevention in film and media.

In addition to Sunny Side of the Doc, Taskovski #DocsConnect has training partnerships with Film Fund FilmKraft Norway, VestNorsk Filmsenter Norway, Nepalese Women Filmmakers Association, British Council, ChieDocs, DocsBarcelona, and more.

The mentors

Irena Taskovski
CEO & founder, Taskovski Films

Irena is the CEO and founder of Taskovski Films, a London-based world sales and production company with offices across Europe. Taskovski's award-winning catalogue includes films like The Eclipse, Radiograph of a Family, and The Seasons in Quincy. With 20 years of experience, Irena has consulted for HBO Europe, TRT World, Asian Cinema Fund, and others. She is also a mother, dancer, certified 5Rhythms® and Biodanza teacher, and a conscious leadership coach. Irena founded Taskovski #DocsConnect Training for Conscious Creative Leaders and is an activist for the environment, peace, and mental health.

Christilla Huillard-Kann
Co-funder and producer, Elda Productions

Christilla Huillard-Kann is the producer and co-founder of Elda Productions, a French documentary production company. She previously served as Deputy Director of New Media at Radio France and as commissioning editor at ARTE France. Christilla has also been Head of the documentary department at Image et Cie and a journalist at France Inter. She co-founded “l’air numérique” and worked as a demographer at UNESCO. She holds an M. Philo in Demographics and Econometrics from SciencesPo and an MSc in Economics from IEDES.



Neda Lukić
Festivals & education manager

Neda holds a degree in Italian language and literature from the University of Belgrade. She has worked in TV production and has 10 years of corporate banking experience. At Taskovski Films, Neda manages festivals, non-theatrical sales, and partnerships. She also produced “The Golden Thread” and “Malum” (2022), and is passionate about lifelong learning and body-oriented psychotherapy.

Khadidja Benouataf
President, Impact Social Club

Coming from a journalism background, Khadidja is president of IMPACT SOCIAL CLUB in France, an impact strategist at BIM - Best Impact Movies, and an advisory committee member of Doc Society’s Global Impact Producer's Alliance. She trains industry professionals and students in impact strategies internationally and designs impact campaigns for award-winning documentaries. Khadidja also acts as a panelist and runs impact labs at major international film festivals.

Elvira Lind

Elvira Lind started the new department at SPIEGEL TV in 1994 and oversaw all acquisition and distribution activities of the SPIEGEL TV Group until her retirement. She began her career as an executive producer, developing and producing the first German-Russian TV co-productions. Elvira Lind graduated in music from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg and in musicology and Russian literature from the University of Hamburg.