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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 2007

Muhr Arab Feature & Muhr Arab Short Jury

Pierre Abi-Saab (President)

Pierre Abi-Saab was born in 1961 in Beirut. A journalist and art critic specializing in cinema, theatre and audi-visual works, he has worked for Lebanese TV and the Al Hayat daily (Beirut), Seventh Day and Arabies (Paris) and the Al Wasat Arabic daily (London). He is founder and editor-in-chief of the Zawaya Arabic cultural newspaper, dedicated to the young generation and distributed throughout the Arab world, and supervises the cultural, art and media sections of the Al Akhbar daily, Beirut.

Bassam Al-Thawadi

Born in Bahrain, Graduated from the Higher Institute of Cinema, Cairo 1982, produced and directed the first three feature movies for the Kingdom of Bahrain The Barrier (Al-Hajiz) 1990, Visitor (Za’ar) 2003 and ( A Bahraini Tale ) 2006. Founding member of the GCC Cinema Society, President of Bahrain Cinema Club 1999-2003, Founder and general director of the First Arab Cinema Festival in Bahrain in 2000, Directed many TV Programs, documentaries and Miniseries. Awarded certificates of appreciation from, Cairo International Film Festival, Carthage Film Festival, Damascus Film Festival and Middle East Film Festival in Tokyo. A Part time TV lecturer- Bahrain University-Information Section 2001-2004, Selected as a member of a lot of judging committees as: Baghdad International Television and Film Festival 1988, Abu Dhabi Cultural Complex Video Film Festival in 1991, Al Sawari Video Festival-Bahrain 1994, The Fourth International Radio and Television Festival in Cairo 1998, The Sixth Gulf Television Production Festival held in Bahrain in March 1999, The State Appreciation Award in Arts, Culture, Literature and Social and Humane Sciences in Kuwait in 2001-2002-2003-2004, The Arab Film Festival in Paris–Documentary Films section in 2002, Emirates Film Competition in Abu Dhabi March 2007, Al Jazeera Documentary International Film Festival in Doha, Qatar April 2007, Dubai International Film Festival – December 2007, Damascus International Film Festival – November 2008, Presented a research paper on The Reality of Cinema in the GCC at the Arab Cinema Symposium in Kuwait in 1995, Founder and Director of Days of the new Egyptian Cinema Trend in cooperation with Ministry of Information and Bahrain Cinema Club in October 1993 Head of the Drama and Documentary Section at Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation (BRTC) 1997-2004, Researches and Developing Studies supervisor (BRTC), Full-time film director Ministry of Information since 2007-Bahrain, Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Film Production Company 2006.

Jamila Sahraoui

JAMILA SAHRAOUI was born in 1950 in Tazmalt, Algeria, and has lived in France since 1975. She studied direction and editing at IDHEC, Paris. She has directed the short documentaries Avoir 2000 ans dans les Aurès (1990) and Prénom Marianne (1992) and has chronicled Algerian society in La Moitié du ciel d’Allah (1995) and the feature documentary The Trees Grow Too in Kabylia, filmedinTazmalt.Barakat! is her narrative feature debut.

Michael Cimino

Michael Cimino was born in New York City and graduated with a BFA and an MFA from Yale University. He made his feature film debut as writer and director with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), which received the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Director. He received the Best Director Oscar for The Deer Hunter (1978), which also won Best Film. He was presented with France’s Chevalier des Arts Lettres for his body of work, and has recently completed his third novel.

Miral Al Tahhawi

Miral Al Tahhawi is a writer and university teacher, lecturing on literary criticism and novels. She has written many award-winning novels, translated into a large number of foreign languages, including The Shed, The Blue Eggplant and The Hoof Clicking of the Antelopes. She is columnist and feature writer for several literary and women’s magazines, such as Literary News, Rotana and Women Today.

Renzo Ressellini

Renzo Ressellini was assistant director and producer for his father, Roberto, from 1957 to 1973, and is President of the Roberto Rossellini Foundation. He founded and chaired Gaumont Italia and later Artisti Associati, producing, financing and distributing more than 100 films, including features by Fellini, Bergman and Tarkovsky. He teaches production and direction at EICTV in Cuba and NUCT in Rome, and has served on the juries of many festivals.

Margarethe Von Trotta

Margarethe Von Trotta was born in Berlin and studied German and Roman Languages and Literature in Munich and Paris. She attended drama school in Munich and acted on stage and screen, for directors including Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlondorff. Her award-winning feature films as writer-director include Rosa Luxemburg (1985), L’Africana (1990)m Das Versprechen (1995) and Rosenstrasse (2003; Italian Donatello for Best European Film). She lives in Paris and is a member of the European Film Academy.

Muhr Arab Documentary

Khadija Al-Salami (President)

Khadija Al-Salami is an award-winning documentary film maker and Yemen’s first female film director, having made some 20 documentaries for various TV stations in France and Yemen. With her husband, she has written a book, "The Tears of Sheba,” about her experiences growing up in Yemen. Currently she occupies the post of Cultural and Press Counselor and Director of the Communication and Cultural Center at the Embassy of Yemen in Paris.

Elmar Biebl

Elmar Biebl was born in 1947 in Germany and shot his first documentary aged 17. He studied and taught at the University of Hamburg and after co-founding CINEMA magazine moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a foreign correspondent and wrote film books, among them the bestseller Behind the Scenes – Special Effects in Films. He served as Executive Vice-President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, produces and appears in weekly TV news broadcast on film serves on the Golden Globes jury.

Rashid Masharawi

RASHID MASHARAWI was born in 1962 and raised in the Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He began his film career at 18, working on more than 20 films before becoming a director. He often works for Channel Four (UK) and the BBC and has directed documentary and fiction films. Like Waiting, Mashawari’s Ticket to Jerusalem also dealt with the absurd problems Palestinians face at Israeli checkpoints.

Ronald Trisch

Ronald Trisch graduated in cutltural Sciences at the Philosophical Department of the Humboldt University, Berlin, in 1964. He ran the GDR Artist and Concert Agency and then in 1973 became Director of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animation Film, a post he held until 1990. From 1975-91 he was a member and for some years Vice-President of the International Short Film Conference. For the last three years he has worked for the goEast Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, Wiesbaden, and has served on many festival juries.

Magda Wassef

Magda Wassef read Business Administration at Cairo University and holds a PhD in cinema from the Sorbonne, Paris, where she has taught on Arab cinema. She has run the cinema department at the Arab World Institute in Paris since 1988. She was a cinema critic for the Al Mustaqbal magazine in Pairs from 1978 to 1988, and supervised the editing of the award-winning book One Hundred Years of Egyptian Cinema (1995). She has been a consultant and juror for numerous films festivals.
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