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DIFF Archive

Explore DIFF’s Archive


Heralded by Variety magazine as one of the world’s “50 unmissable film festivals“, DIFF has cemented its reputation as the ultimate destination to discover films from the Arab world and beyond. The archive gives you access to the films, juries, galleries, press releases and more from the first edition in 2004 through to the current edition.

Juries 2014

Muhr Emirati & Short


Mohammed Rouda (President)


Mohammed Rouda (born in Beirut, Lebanon) is a well-known personality in Arab film culture. Since his first foray into film criticism as a teenager, Mohammed has worked in various roles within the Arab film industry over the last 40 years. He has written for several leading Arabic and non-Arabic publications and he is currently the senior editor/critic of "Asharq AlAwsat" newspaper. A prolific writer, he is also the author and publisher of "The Book of Cinema", an annual review of Arab and international films and has authored numerous books on film throughout his career. He wrote the original screenplay for the first Saudi feature films SHADOWS OF SILENCE (2006) and WHAT'S UP (2006) and he has worked as a script doctor on many films. In the 1990s, he produced and presented MBC's "The World is Cinema".
Mohammed is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which gives out the Golden Globes), FIPRESCI and The London Film Circle.

Cherien Dabis


Cherien Dabis is an award-winning film and television writer, director, producer and actor. Her award-winning debut AMREEKA (2009), which she wrote and directed, world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was at DIFF 2009. She returned to Sundance and DIFF with MAY IN THE SUMMER (2013). Cherien is the recipient of several grants and fellowships including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2012) and USA Rockefeller Fellowship (2010).

Mohammed Hassan Ahmed


Screenwriter, arts consultant, and one of the cinema founders in UAE, Mohammed has created 17 films (feature and shorts) and won 32 awards from around the world. He participated in many international film festival including Berlin, Lorcarno, Chicago, Russia, Morocco and Dubai.

His most important works include Amen, Heaven’s Water, Bint Mariam,Tenbak and Sea Shadow to name but a few. Mohammed also writes for TV, the author of and heads cinema workshops around the GCC about screen writing. He is also a TV drama writer, in addition to book titled 'Silent Light'.

Muhr Feature


Lee Daniels (President)


Lee Daniels is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker, best known for his Academy Award winning film PRECIOUS (2009). Most recently he released the critically acclaimed box office smash LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER. Lee’s production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film debut with MONSTER'S BALL (2001), making him the sole African-American producer of an Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated film. His other film credits include THE WOODSMAN (2004) and THE PAPERBOY (2012). Lee is currently working on “Empire” for FOX, which he wrote, and will produce and direct.

Leonard Retel Helmrich


Leonard Retel Helmrich (born 1959) is a Dutch cinematographer and filmmaker of Indo descent. He is best known for his films SHAPE OF THE MOON (2004), which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary competition and for perfecting the “single camera shot” filming style and its camera-related technical innovations.

Malek Bensmaïl


Early in his youth, Malek Bensmaïl (born 1966, Algeria) shot films in super 8. All of his films relate to the history of his country. Malek’s signature cinematography depicts the complex, sensitive contours of humanity. He uses film as a medium for cultural reflection and comparison. His critically acclaimed films including ALIENATIONS (2004) and CHINA IS STILL FAR (2008, Muhr Arab Documentary Competition) have won awards at a number of festivals worldwide. Recently, he was awarded a residency at Japan’s Villa Kujoyama.

Virginia Madsen


Virginia Madsen is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and unique actresses to date. The Independent Spirit Award-winning actress has an illustrious resume of roles including her critically acclaimed performance Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated performance in Alexander Payne’s hit film, SIDEWAYS (2004).

Also on Virginia’s slate is her production company with partner Karly Meola called Title IX Productions. Their first project is the documentary I KNOW A WOMAN LIKE THAT, which premiered at the Chicago Film Festival.

Nadine Labaki


Nadine Labaki is an award-winning Lebanese actress and filmmaker. Her feature films CARAMEL (2007) and WHERE DO WE GO NOW? (2011), which she wrote, directed and acted in, premiered at Cannes to standing ovations. WHERE DO WE GO NOW? won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto film festival, and was also nominated for the Critic’s Choice Award. In 2008, Variety recognized her on their ‘10 Directors to Watch’
Nadine just wrapped her segment of Cities of Love anthology film ‘Rio, I Love You’, which she directed, co-wrote and starred in, opposite Harvey Keitel.
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