Director , International Programme
Dubai International Film Festival’s Director of International Programmes and an industry veteran, Sheila Whitaker is responsible for the selection of contemporary film masterpieces from around the world. A member of the DIFF programming team since the Festival’s inception in 2004, Sheila was previously Director of the prestigious London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and Head of Programming at the National Film Theatre in London from 1984 to 1990. A well-known writer and festival consultant, she has served on numerous international festival juries from Venice to Syria. She also headed the British National Film Archive collection of stills, poster and original designs. She co-edited Life and art: the new Iranian cinema (BFI 1999) and An Argentine Passion: the films of Maria Luisa Bemberg (Verso 2000) and is advisory editor to independent publisher I.B.Tauris for film publications. She was also founding editor of Writing Women, a journal of women’s writing. She has been awarded a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (D.Litt) by the University of Newcastle and an Honorary Doctorate of Law by the University of Warwick.