This panel discussion examines the role and format of biopics and filmic portraits and the expanded understanding of this genre in today’s filmmaking. Panelists include filmmakers from this year’s festival lineup and other guests, moderated by Jens Hoffmann, Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs.


Neil Barsky is chairman and founder of the Marshall Project, a non-profit journalism enterprise that covers the American system of criminal justice with the goal of sparking a national conversation about reform. He has enjoyed a varied career in the fields of journalism, nance and film. He has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, working for the New York Daily News and the
Wall Street Journal. Later, he embarked on a career in finance, and served as an equity research analyst in the areas of real estate, casinos and hotels for Morgan Stanley. After retiring from money management in 2009, Neil directed and also produced the critically-acclaimed documentary film Koch (NYJFF 2013), which aired nationally on PBS’s POV series.

Emmanuel Bourdieu studied linguistics and philosophy and devoted several years to teaching and research. In 1998, he published Savoir Faire, a book on theories of habit and dispositions. He turned to writing for the theater and cinema, beginning with a series of short plays he wrote for the the Rencontres de la Cartoucherie theater in Vincennes, followed by screenplay collaborations, notably with Arnaud Desplechin, on titles including My Sex Life… Or How I Got Into an Argument, Esther Kahn, and A Christmas Tale. His directorial credits include Vert paradis (2003), Poison Friends (2006), Intrusions (2008), Drumont: histoire d’un antisémite français, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline (2016), screening in this year’s NYJFF.

Marie Noëlle is an author, screenwriter and filmmaker. Her film credits include Komm doch an den Tisch (1998) and The Anarchist’s Wife (2008), a Spanish civil war drama that won numerous awards and was selected at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Her most recent titles include Ludwig II (2012), a dramatic retelling of the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge (2016), screening in this year’s NYJFF. Noëlle teaches cinema at the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris and the University of Television and Film in Munich (HFF).


Jens Hofmann is Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Jewish Museum and Curator for Special Programs, New York Jewish Film Festival. He has curated more than 50 exhibitions internationally since the late 1990s, including the 2nd San Juan Triennial (2009), the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), and the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012–13). He was formerly the director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco (2007-12) and director of exhibitions and chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (2003-7).