Irit Neidhardt (born 1969) graduated in political science, Islamic science and anthropology from the university of Muenster/Germany. She worked as trainer for self-defense and assertiveness for women and girls, managed an adult education center for political and cultural learning and has been acting as a vocational author, curator and speaker in the field of cinema and the Middle East since completing her studies in 1995. In 2002 she decided to devote her working life to cinema and founded the international distribution and sales company mec film complementary to her free-lancing.
Irit Neidhardt is associate producer of Mahmoud al Massad’s award winning feature-documentary Recycle (Jordan/NL/CH/GER/USA 2007) and co-producer of Simon el-Habre’s highly acclaimed The One Man Village (Lebanon 2008), his latest Gate #5 (Lebanon/UAE 2011), Kamal Aljafari’s critically acclaimed Port of Memory (Palestine/GER 2009), Damien Ounouri’s prizewinning Fidai (Algeria/FR/China/Kuwait/GER 2012) and Raed Rafei's Eccomi ... Eccoti (Lebanon 2017). She worked as development consultant for Tamer El-Said’s In the Last Days of the City (EG/VAE/UK/D 2016) and as dramaturgic consultant for Pary el-Qalqili’s The Turtle’s Rage (GER/Palestine 2012).
As a mentor, she served for the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation Germany and the Arab World, DOX:LAB in Copenhagen, BCP in Beirut, DOX BOX in Berlin and the Doha Film Institute in Qatar.
At the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in Potsdam near Berlin / Germany she teaches the annual class "Cinema as Crime?" .
Irit Neidhardt is author of various articles on subjects related to cinema and the Arab World, focusing on issues of co-operation and financing. Since 2012 she has been compiling the Funding Guide for Arab Filmmakers and Producers on behalf of Aflamuna (formerly Beirut DC) which is by now accessible online. From 2014 till 2016 Irit Neidhardt was Honorary Fellow at the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter (UK) with a research on PLO-German cooperation in film-making.
Irit Neidhardt is member of the board of the German edition of the Global Media Journal and was, until its suspension in 2020, in the editorial board of renown German quarterly inamo. She is member of the German Documentary Association (AG DOK), German Association of Art House Theatres (AG Kino-Gilde), the Association of German Film Critics and The German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO), moreover she was a member of the executive committee of Nawras, an association of Syrian artists in Berlin.
She has served in juries for film festivals and funding institutions in Germany, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Sweden, Morocco, Lebanon and the USA.