Photo: Julia Reschucha

Festival Director
Dr Maxa Zoller

Dr Maxa Zoller is the Artistic Director of the Dortmund | Cologne International Women's Film Festival. She also works as a film curator for Art Basel and has presented experimental film screenings at Tate Modern, South London Gallery, in London and the Munich Filmmuseum. In 2014 she co-curated a major solo exhibition of Anthony McCall at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.

Maxa's interest in the threshold between cinema and art developed out of her PhD thesis 'Places of Projection: Recontextualising the European Experimental Film Canon', which she completed under the supervision of Ian Christie und Laura Mulvey at the London Birkbeck College in 2008. She taught experimental film history and theory at Goldsmiths College and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and from 2015-2018 at the American University in Cairo.

In her writings for MIT, IB Tauris, JRP-Ringier and Hatje Verlag she covered topics ranging from post-colonial and post-socialist identity discourse and feminism to her academic expertise; the history of Western avant-garde and experimental film, its contexts of exhibition and its historiography. Her writings and interviews can be viewed here:



Photo: Julia Reschucha

General Management
Christina Essenberger

Christina Essenberger, M.A., is the Managing Director of the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Festival. During her studies of Literature and Art History at Bielefeld University she was active in the local independent art scene where she was to become the first DJane in a youth culture centre. She also worked at the Lichtwerk Cinema where she programmed classic Hollywood cinema of the 1930s and '40s and films by female directors as well as arthouse and experimental film. For many years she was a board member of the Filmhaus Bielefeld e.V. Christina became the manager of several international dance and theatre festivals at the Theaterlabor Bielefeld before moving on to the Dortmund | Cologne International Women's Festival in 2007.