Esther van Messel
Born 1965 in Vienna, lives in Switzerland and holds a Bachelor’s degree in film & television production and in history from the University of Tel Aviv. In 1990, she joined Warner Bros. Israel and became Head of Distribution. From 1992 she produced international feature films and documentaries as Head of Co-Production and Sales for an independent production company in Zurich. In 1998, Esther van Messel founded her own company First Hand Films in Zurich and Berlin for world sales of documentaries and fiction films. First Hand Films acts as executive producer for selected projects. Esther van Messel has been working as a lecturer and consultant for various organisations like EAVE Brussels, IDFA Forum Amsterdam, Cinemart Rotterdam, Eurodoc Paris and Avea Johannesburg. She was an appointed member of the Selection Committee for the Austrian Film Institute and served on several juries like Golden Link EBU and Nordisk Filmpanorama.