Ludmila Cvikova

An insight into the world of festivals

Ludmila Cvikova is an independent film curator, as well as a script, film funding and festival strategies advisor based in Amsterdam. She has worked as an advisor for several international festivals, including Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Sarajevo, Yerevan and Bratislava; and for two years she was the artistic director of Art Film Fest in her native Slovakia. Cvikova cooperated with the Museum of Modern Art in New York on a retrospective programme on the Czechoslovak New Wave. 

After 20 years of working for a variety of film-related organizations, she has recently started working independently. Given the current developments in the film industry, she is convinced that filmmakers from Europe as well as worldwide can use “tailor-made” personal advice.


„We all realise that it’s not easy to put film financing together for young and upcoming filmmakers nowadays, but it still is worth trying and fighting for your dreams! While working for the IFFR, I was also one of the readers of the festival’s film fund (Hubert Bals Fund) and it was so rewarding to guide young filmmakers into making new films, exchanging creative ideas and see them presenting their films later on during the festival.“


Ludmila Cvikova holds an MA from the University of Amsterdam and Comenius University in Bratislava, as well as a European diploma in Cultural Project Management. As a student in 1990s, she started working at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). At the end of 1996 the festival directors at the time – Simon Field and Sandra de Hamer – asked her to support a programme – scouting new talents and selecting films for the festival, focusing on cinema from Eastern Europe, the Balkan region, Iran, Turkey, Greece and the Middle East. She was a programmer at IFFR for 15 years, until 2011. 


„Film festival programming is a complex process that does not consist only of watching films and saying yes or no for your festival’s selections. It also depends on the festival’s dramaturgy, its audiences, its cultural background and the message it wants to bring nationally and internationally.“


In 2011 she started working at the Doha Film Institute in Qatar as a Head of Film Programming responsible for overall film programming at the Institute, and in the function of a Deputy Director of the Qumra Doha Film Festival. She was also a reader and a jury member for the Doha Film Institute’s Film Grants. She worked there until last year. Now she is back in Europe and cooperates on a lot of cultural events and training programmes. She is an independent cinema selector for the Romanian Anonimul International Independent Film Festival and continues to work as an independent consultant for film funding, script development and film programming. She is also a member of the European Film Academy.