September 2021 in Elba

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Aemilia Scott

Aemilia Scott is a writer and director based in Los Angeles and Berlin who works in both comedy and drama, trying to uncover the humor living inside of tragedy and the darkness beneath a laugh.

Aemilia is currently a 2021 fellow of the Sony Pictures Diverse Directors’ Program.  She is a 2020 semi-finalist for the Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship, and is the 2021 winner of the Cassian Elwes / Blacklist Screenwriter’s Fellowship.

Before she began writing and directing, Aemilia lived in Chicago and spent years as an actor working in theater and TV, and performing at Chicago’s The Second City, Chicago Shakespeare, NY Fringe Festival, and TBS Just for Laughs.

Aemilia’s four short films have won awards at some of the loveliest festivals in the world, including winning a BAFTA LA award at Aspen Shortsfest, and screening at Clermont Ferrand, Palm Springs, Aspen, and others.

Aemilia has two feature films in development.


Her first feature script, BIRTHDAY SUIT, has UK Based Bankside attached for presales, and STILL ALICE producer James Brown attached as producer.  BIRTHDAY SUIT was an official selection at IFP Film Week and Tribeca Film Week, and winner of the Melissa Mathison Screenwriter Award at Hamptons International Film Fest.

Her second feature script, THREE HOURS, is a semi-finalist for the Academy Nicholl Screenwriters’ Fellowship, and won the Cassian Elwes Blacklist Fellowship.  Originally it was an official selection of Tribeca Film Week 2020.

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Alexandra Vaccino

Born and raised in New York, Alexandra Vaccino is an actor, writer and photographer living in Brooklyn. Recent notable credits include Audible series Heads Will Roll with Kate McKinnon, a web-series for Above Average/Broadway Video and the New York premiere charity reading of Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metlzer. As an actor, she has trained extensively with the likes of Kyle Donnelly, Robert Castle and Brad Fleischer and attended the Conservatory Program at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. She loves collaborating with fellow feisty and powerful women and is always searching for pieces that excite her.


Alexandra is the co-founder of Bella Ciao Studio, a bi-coastal visual media company based in New York and LA. She has travelled all over with her camera, shooting fashion in Milan, headshots in New York and everything in between.


Alexandra is first and foremost a storyteller, whether on stage, behind her camera or through her writing. She relates every situation in life to an episode of Seinfeld.

She loves collaborating with fellow feisty and powerful women and is always searching for pieces that excite her.

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Christie Conochalla

Christie Conochalla is a writer/director in Los Angeles, Ca who is passionate about creating complex stories about queer women for a mainstream audience.

Her dramatic short film "August in the City" has gained awards and acclaim from various contests and festivals and her romantic comedy short "Once Upon A Zipper" has had a vibrant streaming life online, solidifying her love for telling widely relatable stories about women in the lesbian community.

In 2020, Christie won the "Best Director" award at the North Hollywood Cinefest for her first feature "Forever Not Maybe" a love story about two women who have no time for love, and it is currently available for rent and included with subscriptions on the LesFlicks and Reel Women's Network streaming sites.

Earlier 2021 Christie was the guest festival director for the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival where she lead the programming effort of their 2021 festival. It was the joy of her life to have the opportunity to be on the other side of the festival system and offer support to the filmmakers and moderate the Q&As for their panels.

Currently, Christie is showrunning a zany sitcom called "Welcome Home" featuring two lesbian characters who are preparing for their wedding. The show is currently being aired on the LesFlicks streaming platform and will be available on other platforms by the end of 2021 and she is excited and honored to be a part of the 2021 Nostos Screenwriting retreat with her magical realism drama "Finding Yesterday."

Additionally, Christie is an active and proud member the Alliance of Women Directors.

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Julia Penner

Born in Wuppertal, Julia Penner went to Berlin for her studies at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art and then made her debut as an actress at Schauspielfrankfurt. From 2012-2016 Julia studied screenwriting at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin. The short films she wrote screened in Cannes, Hof and Montreal, among others. She developed her final book with the director Christian Schwochow.

In addition to her 2016 graduation from the dffb, Julia was selected for the international continuing education programme for series writers "Serial Eyes". Julia is co-founder of the writing collectiveQ3. 2018- 2019 Julia worked with the writers of the collective on the youth series "Druck", where she served as head writer for season 3 and shared the head writer position in season 4 with her collective colleague Sandra Stöckmann.  Julia is represented by the Players agency.

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Jovan Todorovic

Jovan was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia on October 13th 1979. He received his Masters Degree Arts for Film Directing at the Faculty of Drama Arts in Belgrade, Serbia in 2009.


He is drawn to storytelling as a means to use heightened visual, auditory and textural experiences to explore the human experience and promote connectivity through empathy. Jovan's work recognizes the extraordinary in the ordinary, broadening our ideas of beauty and our understanding of what it means to be human. 


His short documentary film "Juvenile" premiered on Vimeo and was awarded a Staff Pick.


His short documentary film "Juvenile" premiered on Vimeo and was awarded a Staff Pick.


Jovan's experimental short film "You're Dead, America" has also gained great success in festivals and online distribution. 


His documentary film The Belgrade Phantom premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. Amongst others it won awards at the Jihlava Documentary Film festival, as well as the FIPRESCI award for best Serbian film.


Jovan has directed many music videos for global artists that stand out for their abstract and dreamy storytelling.

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Vladimir Simic

Vladimir Simic studied literature, but received his Masters Degree in Dramaturgy on Faculty of Dramatic Arts Belgrade. He wrote radio plays and was awarded for for special contribution to Serbian radio drama, by Radio Belgrade. 


Worked as screenwriter to several TV shows, and his feature film debut as a screenwriter was Swedish-Serbian family drama "Made in Yugoslavia, directed by Miko Lazic. Consultant screenwriter on Loveless Zoritza (Directed by Rasa Pavkovic & Christina Hadjiharalambus) 

He was a screenwriter of feature-length documentary film "The Final Adventure of Kaktus Kid" (directed by Djordje Markovic) and feature film "Real story" a family dramedy directed by Gordan Kicic.


He is interested in mystery, in hidden meanings and relations that shape everyday life. His heroes are ordinary people, investigators of their own lives, who unearth the secrets, to discover personal truths. 


Screenplay is a learning process, research (possibly an investigation) into mystery and film is the final story or the official version of it. 


For a year he was working as an assistant teacher for screenwriting on Faculty of Dramatic Arts. One of his screenplays was published in Anthology of unread screenplays, by N. Pajkic.


Vladimir works as a creative director in advertising.

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Lance Krieger

Lance Krieger has been writing screenplays for over 10 years.  As an intern at Miramax Films and Tribeca Entertainment, Lance had the opportunity to read and cover many mainstream, independent, and popular feature film and television screenplays.  Lance joined the William Morris Agency training program in New York, where he assisted executives and covered film and television projects.   Lance has been inspired by the screenwriting teachings of Syd Field, Lagos Egri, and William Goldman. Some of Lance’s favorite authors include F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemmingway, John Grisham, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Graham Greene.

After 10 years of on-and-off work on his second screenplay, “The Kilgore Conspiracy”, in 2020, Lance won the Maverick Screenwriter award for the Los Angeles Neo Noir Novel, Film, & Script Festival and the Best Crime Television Screenplay for the Los Angeles Crime & Horror Film Festival, taking first place out of 121 screenplays.  During this time, Lance revised, edited, and workshopped The Kilgore Conspiracy, transitioning the project from feature film to television screenplay format.

Lance studied English Creative Writing at Stanford University and Filmmaking at the University of Southern California Film School.  He has pursued coursework at the Neighborhood Playhouse School for Theatre and screenwriting workshops through New York University. Lance received an MBA from the HEC Paris School of Business (Ecole des Hautes etudes Commerciales de Paris).

Lance was born in New York City and has lived in various cities in the United States and in Europe. Lance speaks English, Spanish, French, and Italian.

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Tess Harrison

Tess Harrison is an award-winning filmmaker and actress based in LA. She wrote, directed and starred in her debut feature film, The Light Upstate which was developed as part of the 2019 Cine Qua Non Lab and is currently in post-production. She stars opposite her real-life brother Will Harrison (Daisy Jones and the Six, Amazon 2021). They also co-starred in It’s Perfect Here, Tess’s debut short film which received the Best Narrative Short Award at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival. This film, as well as Take Me Out with the Stars, Things Break In, and DOG, have been programmed at over fifty festivals worldwide. In addition, Tess starred in Noor Gharzeddine’s feature film Are You Glad I’m Here which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival, won the Audience Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival and is now available to stream on Amazon. Tess’s music videos for artists X Ambassadors (Interscope/UMG) and Minke (This Fiction) have generated over 14 million views.

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Patrice Cordonnier

After a first career in Agronomy, Patrice decided in 2010 to focus on another of his passions for life: Cinema and Theatre. First of all, he expanded his knowledge and talents - Cours Florent, Courts-On and Cineuropa - and then collaborated on several ambitious projects: Isabelle Marolleau's monologue “J'ose - about a mother’s grief - performed in Avignon in 2013, Delphine Moreau's documentary film “Entre Nous, Jean-Jacques” - philosophical reflections of children in elementary school - and “Quelque chose”, a play written by Capucine Maillard in 2014 voicing the true stories of female victims of incest, which was staged and directed by Andréa Bescond in 2017. In 2016, Patrice wrote and directed “Entre deux Eaux” shot in Marrakech, starring Christelle Cornil and Abdellah Chakiri, which was selected for more than 30 international festivals (winning 11 awards) and broadcast on TV5 Monde in 2017 and 2018. Since then, Patrice has continued to write and direct several shows mixing the arts (such as Julien Joubert's musical comedy “Rendez-vous”), provide scriptwriting support (“Les Femmes du Pavillon J”, Mohamed Nadif's full length feature film) and write his own scenarios. This summer, after the pandemic situation, Patrice managed to shoot “La Vie en Roses” another middle length film, a swirling closed-doors in a flower store, starring Alix Bénézech and 9 other talented French actors. He is currently in the post-production on this film…. but more than interested to write his first feature at Nostos Screenwriting Retreats!