Juries Announced for Dubai International Film Festival’s Prestigious Muhr Competition

Wed Dec 05,2012

Dubai, December 5th, 2012 – The 9th Dubai International Film Festival’s (DIFF) esteemed jury members consists of world-famous filmmakers, industry decision makers and onscreen talent including Freida Pinto, Michael Apted, Kerry Fox, Bruno Barreto, Chang Dong Lee, Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, and Nayla Al Khaja who will come together to help judge the regions burgeoning talent.

The prestigious Muhr Awards have gone from strength to strength and this year over 80 films will compete for over US$575,000 in prize money across three categories – Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica. Arabic features will also be eligible for a variety of prestigious global awards including the FIPRESCI International Prize of the Critics Award all of which will be announced at the awards ceremony on the final night of the Festival, December 16th, 2012. The shortlist line-up was selected from 2,100 submissions across 115 countries and is considered to the most remarkable, competitive and diverse selection to date.

The juries are comprised of film professionals from around the world, bringing years of experience to the assessment of their peers’ work, said Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman. He continued: “Each year, we strive to form our juries from multi-dimensional specialists who can bring the full weight of their knowledge and expertise to evaluating a highly competitive field. We are proud of the prominence that the Muhr Awards affords to filmmakers from emerging markets. It is a testament to the success of our programme that we have been able to draw the sheer amount of talent from around the world for our juries this year, and we wish them luck with their difficult task.” 
The Muhr Arab Documentary Jury will be led by Lifetime Achievement Award honouree prolific British film directors Michael Apted; his body of work includes greats such as Gorillas in the Mist joining him will be Jordanian documentarian Azza El Hassan and Chris Fujiwara artistic director of the Edinburgh international film festival (EIFF).
The filmmakers competing in the Muhr Arab Feature competition will be assessed by one of Brazil’s most accomplished and popular directors Bruno Barreto, who is also President of the Jury.  Assisting him will be Egyptian actor Asser Yassin, Tunisian film director Moufida Tlatli, Martin Schweighofer, CEO of the Austrian Film Commission and acclaimed author Adnan Madanat.

Judging the the Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards, Features category is Jury President South Korean film director, novelist, and Minister of Culture Lee Chang-dong. Istanbul International Film Festival Director Azize Tan, Iranian actress Fatemah Motamed-Aria, New Zealand actress Kerry Fox and Nigerian director and cinematographer Tunde Kelani will join him.

The Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary Jury will be led by award-winning Palestinian documentarian Mai Masri at the helm and joined by South Korean documentarian Kim Dong-won, and German filmmaker Bettina Blumner.

To evaluate the short film competitions in the Muhr Arab, Muhr AsiaAfrica and Muhr Emirati categories, the Jury President is chief film critic for Screen International Mark Adams, who will be joined internationally-renowned actress Freida Pinto and Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja.

FIPRESCI is an international federation of film critics, whose prestigious awards are given at select festivals around the world. At DIFF, the FIPRESCI Features President is Julie Rigg, Australian Broadcasting Corporation specialist movie critic and presenter of Movietime. She is joined by prominent Cameroonian film critic and journalist Jean-Marie Mollo Olinga and Iraqi author and film critic Ziad Khuzai.
The FIPRESCI Documentary President is Hollywood Reporter film critic Karsten Kastelan, who will be joined by filmmaker-turned-critic Altaf Mazid, and Egyptian film critic Tarek El-Shenawy.

The DIFF box office is open online on at Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).

Tickets ‘One Night to Change Lives’ charity event to benefit Oxfam and Dubai Cares are available by telephone on +971 4 450 4531 or email or visit

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