Peter Weir (President)
Australian director Peter Weir (born 1944) has an uncommonly varied CV – from the chilling 1975 mystery “Picnic at Hanging Rock” through to “Dead Poets Society” (1989), “Green Card” (1990), “The Truman Show” (1998), “Master and Commander” (2003) and “The Way Back” (2010). He is a multiple Academy Award nominee and won three BAFTAs. Peter Weir at DIFF: “The Way Back” (2010, Cinema of the World Gala)
Amr Waked is an Egyptian actor, born in 1973. In a short span of time, he has established his presence in Arab cinema. After his celebrated performances in “The Devils’ Heaven”, “Fish Tail”, “Li Li” and “Fellows or Business”, he shot to international prominence for his performance in “Syriana” (2005). Amr Waked at DIFF: “The Father and the Foreigner” (Arabian Nights, 2010)
Emily Atef studied filmmaking at the DFBB Film Academy in Berlin. Her films include: “XX to XY: Fighting to be Jake” (doc/2002) and “Molly's Way” (2005), her debut feature, which won several international awards. Her second film, “The Stranger in Me” (2008), premiered at the ‘Semaine de la critique’ in Cannes. She is currently engaged in the post-production of “Kill Me”, a road movie filmed in Germany and France.
Born in Tangiers, Hamid Aidouni teaches film and literature at the University Abdelmalek Essadi in Morocco. He has authored and edited several books on cinema and is the director of the Film Collection DVD Young Talent and National Competition of Young Film Critics. He is an active and well-known participant at national and international seminars focussed on the themes surrounding cinema and human rights. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Salam Cinema”.
Ulrike Ottinger (president)
Ulrike Ottinger is an acclaimed artist/screenwriter/director. Her films, screened at international film festivals and receiving numerous awards, include features and documentaries, the latter including “China. The Arts – The People” (1986) and “Exile Shanghai” (1997). She has had multiple retrospectives including at MoMA (New York). She participated as an artist at the Biennale di Venezia amongst others. Her book “Bildarchive” (2005) is a selection of photographs from 1975 through 2005. Ulrike Ottinger at DIFF: “The Korean Wedding Chest” (2009, Cinema of the World), “Under Snow” (2011, Cinema of the World)
Syhem Belkhodja is an artist/choreographer and director of three festivals - the International Choreography Meeting of Carthage, International Documentary Film Festival “Doc in Tunis” and Design & Fashion in Carthage – and two schools - the School of Arts and Cinema and the Mediterranean Center of Contemporary Dance. She works to promote the development of various artistic endeavours in Tunisia.
Juan Carlo Rulfo
Juan Carlo Rulfo is a Mexican filmmaker. His film credits include his first documentary “I Forgot I Don’t Remember” which was awarded the Rockefeller & MacArthur scholarship in 1996; “In the Pit” (2006), which received support from the Sundance Institute and won the Sundance Film Festival World Documentary Jury Award and “Those Who Remain” (2009).
Andreas Dresen (President)
Andreas Dresen (born East Germany, 1963) started working in theatre and film in the early 1980s. He studied filmmaking at the HFF “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg. He is one of Germany’s foremost and most accomplished filmmakers and writers in film, television and theatre. Highlights from his career include: “Grill Point” (2002, Silver Bear at Berlin), “Cloud 9” (2008, Coup de Coeur at Cannes) and “Stopped on Track” (2011, Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes).
Amir Muhammad is a Malaysian writer/publisher/filmmaker. He directed Malaysia’s first digital film in 2000. His films have screened at several international film festivals including Sundance and Berlin. His documentaries “The Last Communist” (2006) and “Village People Radio Show” (2007) are banned in Malaysia. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books and currently runs two publishing companies: Matahari Books and Fixi. Amir Muhammad at DIFF : “Malaysian Gods” (2009, Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary)
Annemarie Jacir is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker/editor/film curator living in Jordan. She has written and directed 12 films, two of which have premiered as official selections at Cannes and one in Venice. Her debut feature “Salt of This Sea” (2008) won 16 international awards. She teaches screenwriting and is currently working on the post-production of “When I Saw You”. Annemarie Jacir at DIFF: “Like Twenty Impossibles” (2004, Arabian Shorts), “Few Crumbs for the Birds” (2006, Arabian Nights), “Salt of this Sea” (2008, Muhr Arab Feature), “When I Saw You” (2008, Dubai Film Connection).
Mohammad Malas (President)
Mohammad Malas (born 1945) studied filmmaking at the VGIK in Moscow, where he directed three short films. He began working with Syrian Television in 1974 and has directed several short films, documentaries and features. His debut feature “The Dreams of the City” (1984) won the UNESCO Award at Cannes. His other award-winning films include “The Night” (1992) and “The Dreams” (1989). He is also an accomplished author of fiction and non-fiction. Mohammad Malas at DIFF: “The Tissues Vendor” (2009, Cinema for Children)
Abdullah Boushahri is a Kuwaiti filmmaker and visual artist. Film credits include "Kuwaiti Champion" (short/2003) and "Losing Ahmad" (2006), a documentary that screened at over 15 international film festivals. In 2007, he co-founded Synq Studios, a post-production facility in Florida. Abdullah Boushahri at DIFF: "Losing Ahmad" (2006, Arabian Nights)
كاتب وسيناريست إماراتي. هو عضو مُؤسِّس في مجموعة "انعكاس" الفنية، و"نَفَس"، و"فيللا سينما" للإنتاج الفني والسينمائي، وعضو اللجنة الثقافية في اتحاد كتاب وأدباء الإمارات. من أفلامه التي كتب لها السيناريو: "حارسة الماء"، إخراج وليد الشحي (2007)، "بنت النوخذة"، إخراج خالد المحمود (2008)، "باب"، إخراج وليد الشحي (2009
Volker Schlondorff (President)
Volker Schlondorff is an internationally acclaimed German filmmaker and screenwriter. His close association with directors of the ‘Nouvelle Vague’ resulted in his assisting Louis Malle, Alain Resnais and Jean-Pierre Melville. His first film “Young Torless”, won the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes in 1966. His films include: “The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum” (1975), “The Tin Drum” (1979, Golden Palm at Cannes/Oscar), “Death of a Salesman” (1984), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (1990) and “The Legend of Rita” (2000, Blue Angel at Berlin).
Alice Coelho is the Vice President – Syndication Sales at Eros International. In her position, she has been instrumental in exploring several new markets in Europe and Latin Market. Since joining Eros in 2000, she has worked on launching Bollywood films “Devdas” (2002) at the Cannes Film Festival and “Om Shanti Om” (2007) at the Berlinale.
Bertha Navarro is one of Latin America’s leading film professionals. She produced “Reed, Insurgent Mexico” (1970), one of the first independent films made in Mexico that was presented at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, 1972. Since then, she has produced several Latin American films of note, including “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) and coordinated the Screenwriter’s Lab for Latin American scripts. She has founded two production companies, Salamandra Producciones, with Alejandra Moreno Toscano and Tequila Gang with Guillermo del Toro.
Haile Gerima (born Ethiopia, 1946) began making short films including “Hour Glass” (1972) and “Child of Resistance” (1972). “Harvest: 3000 Years” (1976) was a Critics Choice at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and won prizes at festivals across Europe. Thirty years later, Martin Scorsese presented a restored print of the film at Cannes. Gerima was also internationally feted for “Sankofa” (1993), which won awards at African film festivals and was nominated for a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Haile Gerima at DIFF: “Teza” (2008, Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature)
Laurice Guillen is an award-winning filmmaker/actress/teacher from the Philippines. She has worked in theatre and TV before launching a career in film in the 1970s. Her career as director has spanned 31 years during which time she has directed 31 films that have been presented in several international film festivals. She is also the chairperson for the competition section of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
Goutam Ghose (President)
Goutam Ghose (born Kolkata) is an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker. He was an active member of the theatre movement in Kolkata. His film credits include the award-winning“Hungry Autumn”, “Meeting a Milestone” (on Ustad Bismillah Khan), “Ray” (on Satyajit Ray) and “Impermanence” (on the Dalai Lama). He is the only Indian recipient of the Vittori Di Sica Award.
Wu Wenguang (born China, 1956) studied Chinese Literature at Yunnan University. In 1988, he moved to Beijing, where he worked as an independent documentary filmmaker/writer/producer of dance and theatre. He has four non-fiction books and 10 documentaries to his credit including: “Bumming in Beijing” (1990) and “Treating” (2010). In 2005, he co-founded the independent art space Caochangdi Workstation. He is also the co-founder of the group Living Dance Studio.
Heather Croall is the Director for Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK. Croall was previously the director of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), where she developed the matchmaking pitching initiative MeetMarket. She has been one of the documentary industry’s leading proponents of the emerging field of new media. She began to develop a conference programme called DigiDocs in 2000 along with international partners and this is now a major strand (known as Crossover 360) of programming in Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Klaus Eder (President)
Klaus Eder is the General Secretary of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) and an advisor for several film festivals. He has worked as a film critic since the 1960s for national radio"Bayerischer Rundfunk" and for German-language film magazines. He has also authored books on Andrzej Wajda, Luis Bunuel, Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovski, Arturo Ripstein, Im Kwon-taek and Nagisa Oshima.
Najeh Hasan is a Jordanian journalist and film critic. His reviews are published in the Jordanian daily “Al Ra’ai”. He also works as a cultural editor for the Jordanian News Agency and writes reviews for the “Jordanian Cinema Club”. His work as an author includes: “Cinema and Cinematic Culture in Jordan”, “Now on a White Screen”, “Screens of Light, Screens of Darkness” and his latest book “Sills of Joy: Readings in Jordanian Films”.
Leo Bankersen is a freelance film critic, contributing regularly to “de Filmkrant”, the largest independent film magazine in The Netherlands. Other publications he contributes to are the International Film Guide and the website of Film & Festivals. His special interests are documentary film, non-western cinema, films for children and all things digital. He is a board member of the Association of Dutch Film Critics (KNF).
Simon Popek (President)
Born in 1970, Simon Popek, is an author, who has been connected with cinema since the early 1990s. A former president of the Slovene film critics' association in 1997, he was also employed in the film acquisitions department of TV Slovenia and the Ljubljana International Film Festival and Documentary Film Festival.
Heikki Jokinen is a freelance journalist and critic from Finland. As a critic he focuses on short film, documentary and animation. He is a former editor-in-chief for “Visio”, the Finnish magazine for audiovisual professionals. He has served as a juror on about 20 international short film, documentary and animation festivals in Europe and Asia, and has also curated film programmes for festivals and museums. He is currently the Vice-President Association Internationale du Film d’Animation.
Nadeem Jarjoura is a Lebanese film critic and has worked as a journalist since 1984. He has also served as a juror on several committees. He is the editor of the cinema affairs section in the Lebanese daily “Assafir” and editor of the cinema section in the Emirati weekly magazine “Zahrat Al Khalij”. His work as an author includes “Incomplete Biography: a Research in the History of Lebanese Cinema” (2004), and “Pierced Façade: a Personal Journey in Arab Festivals” (2006).
Diana Saqeb is an Afghan documentary filmmaker and women’s rights activist. She studied Cinema at Tehran’s Art University. She is the festival coordinator of the first Autumn Human Rights Film Festival and has worked as Deputy Director on the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Kabul International Film Festival. Her film credits include: “Twenty Five Percent” (doc/2007), which screened at international film festivals and on the BBC World News channel.
Purna Singh Baraily
Purna Singh Baraily is the chairperson of the Human Rights Film Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been actively involved in several activities that have addressed human rights issues in the media and society. As an ardent champion of human rights, he has organized film festivals, seminars, media awards and workshops designed to raise awareness on pressing human rights causes.
Ahmed Abid Khan
Ahmed Abid Khan is a media professional and activist, who has been involved with the parallel society film movement since the early 1980s in Bangladesh. He is currently working with the South East Asia Regional Cooperation in Human Development (SEARCH), a CIDA funded project in Bangkok, Thailand, while he is also a PhD candidate of Human Rights and Peace Studies Program at Mahidol University, Thailand. He is currently organizing the MMR human rights film and art festival in Thailand.