New Producers Academy was founded in 2021, by Filmmaker and Producer Claudio Montesano Casillas, Filmmaker Loretta van der Horst and Impact Manager Yassin Karmoudi, as a response to the lack of diversity within a crucial area of the film industry: producers.
Yassin and Claudio met for the first time in 2018 at Doc Society’s Good Pitch event in Amsterdam and stayed in touch over a shared passion for storytelling and representation. As a kid, Yassin – who’s family hails from Morocco – saw namesake characters often portrayed one-dimensionally as either drug dealers and criminals or simply expendable within stories and has made it his mission to break down these kinds of stereotypes.
After looking for ways to collaborate further, Claudio met Loretta through the U.S. initiative Brown Girls Docs Mafia network and they decided to create a similar grassroots initiative in the Netherlands together with Yassin.
At a young age Yassin developed an unconditional love for stories and inspired him to become a storyteller. As a storyteller and impact manager Yassin worked on various projects from international animation series to award-winning interactive documentaries and helped different organisations, both national and international to profile themselves. As of October 2021 Yassin joined the NPO fund as their Secretary of Talent.
Loretta is a documentary filmmaker with a background in psychology, journalism and political science. She holds an M.A. in conflict studies and human rights (Universiteit Utrecht) and an M.A in ‘News and documentary journalism’ (NYU). Her first feature documentary Behind the Blood premiered at IDFA 2019 and won ‘Best international Documentary’ at the HUMAN international Documentary Film Festival Oslo in 2020.
Claudio is a Mexican-Italian photojournalist, producer and filmmaker with extensive experience documenting contemporary social problems. He was part of the IDFA young producers programme in 2021. Claudio is passionate about the environment, income inequality and social justice. He obtained a Master’s degree at the University of the Arts London (UAL) and his work is published in leading newspapers, magazines, websites/blogs and film festivals.
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