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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 2012

Muhr Emirati & Short


Mark Adams (President)


Mark Adams is a film critic for Screen International and The Sunday Mirror in the UK. He has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International and UK newspapers. Adams was head of programme planning at the National Film Theatre in London and worked as director of cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), in addition to being involved with other film festivals. He has also authored three books on cinema.

Nayla Al Khaja


Nayla Al Khaja is the UAE’s first female producer and director. She was awarded the Emirates Woman of the Year award by the late Benazir Butto in 2005, has been named the Best Emirati Filmmaker (DIFF 2007) and won the Best Film award (Muhr Emirati) for her film MALAL (DIFF 2010). She runs D-Seven Motion Pictures, where she produces many commercials with clients such as Mercedes Benz, Nike and BMW.

Freida Pinto


Freida Pinto struck gold with her acting debut in film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2010), which earned 12 Oscars. She then bagged five more international films and starred in Terence Mallick’s KNIGHT OF CUPS with Christian Bale; TRISHNA, an Indian adaptation of the novel Tess of d’Urbervilles (released in UK and US); and DESERT DANCER an inspirational true story of Iranian dancer Afshin Ghaffarian.

Muhr Arab Feature


Bruno Barreto (President)


Brazilian director Bruno Barreto has 18 feature films to his credit, including DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS (Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film) and FOUR DAYS IN SEPTEMBER (Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film). He is currently working on THE ART OF LOSING, about the poet Elizabeth Bishop.

Asser Yassin


Aser Yassin has starred in several films and TV series with prominent Egyptian directors including Khairi Beshara, Sherif Araffa and Yosry Nasrallah. In 2011, he won the Best Actor Award at the Carthage Film Festival; he has also acted in the movie 18 DAYS, which was officially selected at Cannes 2011, and played a lead role in Daoud Abd El Sayed’s MESSAGES FROM THE SEA.

Martin Schweighofer


Martin Schweighofer is the CEO of the Austrian Film Commission and a co-founder of the European Film Promotion. He also founded the film festival Diagonale (1993-1996) and has co-founded the Theater im Kopf, where he worked as a dramatic advisor. Schweighofer has worked as a film critic and arts editor for Austrian publications (until 1993). He is a member of the European Film Academy.

Moufida Tlatli


Moufida Tlatli (born 1947, Tunisia) is the director of films such as the 1993 LES SILENCES DU PALAIS (SILENCE OF PALAS), which was awarded a Camera D’or at Cannes. Her other features include LA SAISON DES HOMMES (Un Certain Regard 2000) and NADIA AND SARRA (for Arte). She has also been honoured by embassies in Tunisia and France.

Adnan Madanat


Adnan Madanat is a film-maker and critic and he has directed several documentaries including AL TAKIEYAH AL SOULYMANIA (1971) and TUNE FOR MULTIPLE SEASONS (1977); he also worked as an assistant director on the feature LEOPARD (1971). He has published over 14 books including National Arab Identity in Arab Cinema (1986) and Lenses of Fiction (2007).

Muhr Arab Documentary


Michael Apted (President)


Michael Apted (born 1941, England) has received several awards for his extensive body of work, including a Grammy, British Academy Awards, a DGA Award and the International Documentary Association's highest honour, the IDA Career Achievement Award. By the order of Queen Elizabeth II., Apted was recently made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for his work in the film and television industries. His film credits include THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, CHASING MAVERICKS and his award-winning sequels based on the original 7 UP documentary. Apted is a recipient of the 2012 DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Azza El-Hassan


Azza El-Hassan is an award-winning documentary film-maker, who has won the Luchino Visconti Award (Italy), Grierson Award (Britain) and Al Jazeera Jury Award (Qatar) among others. She is currently working on her first fiction feature MUSICAL CHAIRS, the script of which has already received several awards. She has been a jury member at several art events and festivals.

Chris Fujiwara


Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival since January 2012, Chris Fujiwara is also a writer, film critic, journalist and editor. He is the author of several books including Jerry Lewis and the editor of the anthology Defining Moments in Movies (also known as Little Black Book: Movies; Cassell) and Undercurrent, the film-criticism magazine of FIPRESCI. Fujiwara has also lectured at Tokyo University, Yale University and several other institutions.

Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature


Chang-dong Lee (President)


Chang-dong Lee (born 1954, South Korea) has won the 2008 Special Director’s Prize at the Asian Film Awards and has been nominated for the Golden Lion and Palme d’Or. His latest film POETRY won the Best Screenplay Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. His credits include SECRET SUNSHINE (2007), OASIS (2002, Best Director Award at Venice Film Festival) and PEPPERMINT CANDY (2000).

Azize Tan


Azize Tan (born 1971, Turkey) works for the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, which organises six international festivals (from film to design). She is also the director of the Istanbul Film Festival and has been organising an autumn film week (Filmekimi) for the past decade. She is a member of NETPAC and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominations Council and has served as a jury member at international festivals.

Kerry Fox


Kerry Fox has starred in award-winning productions across theatre, television and film, debuting on the big screen in Jane Campion’s AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE. She bagged a Silver Bear for Best Actress for her performance in INTIMACY (Berlin Film Festival, 2001) and has also won an ASTRA Award for her role in the Australian miniseries Cloudstreet. Onstage, she will be leading in Noel Coward’s The Vortex in London in the New Year.

Tunde Kilani


After many years in the Nigerian film industry as a cinematographer, Tunde Kelani now manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s rich culture. As an advocate of alternative technology in motion picture production, he has produced many digital features including THUNDERBOLT and SAWOROIDE. He is involved in the Mobile Cinema Project, designed to take information and entertainment to the grassroots.

Fatemah Motamed-Aria


Fatemeh Motamed-Aria ‎ (born in Tehran) is the most awarded actress in the Iranian cinema industry, having won 80 national and international awards (nine nominations at the Fajr International Film Festival and winner of four Crystal Simorghs). She recently won the Best Actress Award at the Montreal Film Festival for HERE WITHOUT ME and the Henri Langlois honorary award in 2012.

Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary


Mai Masri (President)


Mai Masri is a Palestinian film-maker, whose directing credits include the multiaward-winning HANAN ASHRAWI: A WOMAN OF HER TIME (1995), CHILDREN OF SHATILA (1998) and FRONTIERS OF DREAMS AND FEARS (2001). With her husband Jean Chamoun, she founded MTC and Nour Productions and has produced films such as IN THE SHADOWS OF THE CITY (2000) and HOSTAGE OF TIME (1994).

Kim Dong-won


Kim Dong-won started working on social documentaries from 1988 and since then,he has directed over 20 documentaries on urban poverty, reunification and environmental issues. His film credits include REPATRATION (2003, Freedom of Expression Award at Sundance); 63 YEARS ON (Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Documentary); and TOTAL BROKENNESS. He established P.U.R.N Production in 1991 and has been working as a chief director since then.

Bettina Blumner


Bettina Blumner is a German documentary and fiction film-maker who has directed films like POOL OF PRINCESSES (Best Documentary, Lola), which is considered a great success in German cinema. She is currently working on her first feature SCHERBENPARK. She studied at the German film school Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and took courses at UCLA in LA and did a semester abroad at the EICTV in Cuba.

FIPRESCI Feature & Short


Julie Rigg (President)


Julie Rigg is Radio National's specialist movie critic. She was one of a group of women broadcasters who founded the Australian Women's Broadcasting Co-operative and its weekly radio programme, The Coming Out Show. In 2003, she was awarded the prestigious Geraldine Pascall Prize for critical writing. Rigg has served on FIPRESCI juries at the San Sebastian Film Festival (1999), the Toronto International Film Festival (2002) and at Venice (2006).

Jean-Marie Mollo Olinga


Jean-Marie Mollo Olinga (born 1957, Cameroon) has served as the president of the Cameroon Film Critics Association and as vice president of the African Federation of Film Critics. He is a professional journalist and works with the Paris-based Afrique Magazine and the Cameroonian daily, Le Jour. He has published several books including Cameroun, La Culture Sacrifiée (L’Harmattan, 2004) and Eléments D’Initiation à la Critique Cinématographique (L’Harmattan, 2012).

Ziad Khuzai


An Iraqi writer and film critic based in London, Ziad Khuzai established the first Arab film festival in London in 1988. In 2011, he organised and supervised the Nour Festival of Arts. He publishes his critical reviews in As-Safir and the Al Quds Al Arabi newspapers. Khuzai has served as a jury member at the Gulf Film Festival (2009).

FIPRESCI Documentary


Karsten Kastelan (President)


Karsten Kastelan (born 1970) is a Berlin-based correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter. He also writes for other non-competing outlets (Die Welt, epd Film) and serves as a corporate consultant. He started out in film journalism in 1991 and then moved to Los Angeles to work with legendary producer Roger Corman on several projects. He has worked as an assistant director, publicist, soundman and photographer among other things.

Altaf Mazid


Altaf Mazid is a critic turned film-maker and has won the Best Director Award for JIBON (LIFE, 1998) at the Seventh Pyongyang Film Festival of Non-Aligned & Developing Countries and won awards for his A DUET WITH THE RIVER GOD at the 2008 Indian National Film Awards. As a member of FIPRESCI, he was part of the jury at MIFF Moscow (2004) and Cannes (2006).

Tarek Elshennawy


Tarek Elshennawy is a writer, film critic and a professor. He writes for publications such as the daily El Tahrir and El Shark El Awsat and online media such as Aljazeera.net, MBC and Masrawy. Elshennawy has published over 10 books including Gaalouni Mokhregan (They Made Me a Director). He has chaired and participated in film festivals in Muscat, Alexandria among others.
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