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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 2006

Muhr Arab Feature Jury


Ridha Behi (President)


RIDHA BEHI was born in 1947 in Tunisia and made his feature film debut by producing and directing Forbidden Steps, followed by Hyenas’ Sun (1977), which screened at Cannes, as did Angels (1983). He shot nine documentaries in the Gulf States between 1980 and 1982, including The Dhows and The Pearl Divers. He produced and directed Swallows Never Die in Jerusalem (1994) and The Magic Box (2002). He is writing and developing Citizen Brando.

Leila Eloui


LEILA ELOUI was born and raised in Cairo, she shot to stardom in the 1980s and built a reputation as the favorite actress of directors such as Mohammed Khan, Kheiri Beshara and Raafat El-Mihi (A Girl Apple, 1991). She started in Oussama Fawzi’s smash hit I love Cinema (2004) and her other films include Youssef Chahine’s Destiny (1997) and Moumen Smihi’s The Woman from Cairo (1992)

Ismael Ferroukhi


Ismael Ferroukhi was born in Kenitra, Morocco. He directed his first short film, L’Expose. In 1992. L’Inconnu, his second short film, was part of the triptych Court-toujours produced for Canal Plus/ARTE, and he went on to direct two TV films in 1997 and 1998. His writing credits include the script for Cedric Kahn’s feature Trop de Bonheur (1994). Le Grand Voyage is his first feature film.

Sheila Johnston


SHEILA JOHNSTON completed a PhD on German director Rainer Wener Fassbinder at the Slade School, London, then joined the newly launched Independent newspaper, where she wrote on film for ten years. She contributes arts interviews and features to numerous publications, including the Daily Telegraph, The Times and New York Daily News. She has lectured on cinema for the British Film Institute and the Open University, and divides her time between London and France.

Kim Dong-Ho


KIM DONG-HO is Festival Director at the Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea, and co-director of the Asian Film Market. He is vice-chairman at the Network for Promotion of Asia Cinema (NETPAC) and has been awarded many cultural medals for his achievements in South Korea and internationally. He has served on the juries on many film festivals, including Rotterdam, India and Seattle. His book, History of Korean Cinema Policy, written by Kim Dong-Ho et al, was published in 2005.

Muhr Arab Documentary & Muhr Arab Short Jury


Mohammed Asli (President)


Mohammed Asli was born in 1957 in Casablanca, Morocco, and studied film in Milan. He was assistant cameraman on more than 40 documentary and television films. He has executive produced a number of feature films and co-produced Maurizio Zaccaro’s Article 2 (1994) and Paolo Fondato’s Mashamal (1998). He produced and directed In Casablanca, Angels Don’t Fly (2004) and established the Kanzaman film studio at Ourzazate, Morocco.

Barry Avrich


Barry Avrich was born in Montreal, Quebec. He is an award-winning film director whose credits include the highly claimed documentary The Last Mogul: The Life & Times of Lew Wasserman (2005). His three entertainment marketing books include the best-selling Selling the Sizzle. He is the director of The Toronto International Film Festival Group, The International Emmy Awards and President of the Toronto-based Endeavour entertainment advertising agency, where he has marketed 500-plus movies.

Kai Nordberg


Kai Nordberg was born in 1968 in Helsinki, Finland. In 1989 he moved to West Berlin, where he studied film and journalism at the Freie University. Since 1996, he has run his co-owned production company, Making Movies Oy, in Helsinki. His many documentaries as director include Kathmandu Rock ’n ’Roll (1996) and Child in Time (2005). He has produced the feature Homesick (2005) and is producing the forthcoming features Black Ice and Tigerheart.

Jafar Panahi


Jafar Panahi was born in Mianeh, Iran, and studied at the college of Cinema and Television, Tehran, before directing documentaries and dramas for Iranian television. His feature film debut, The White Balloon (1995), received the Camera d’Or at Cannes and his subsequent films have all won major festival awards; they include The Mirror (1997, Golden Leopard, Locarno), The Circle (2000, Golden Lion at Venice) and Offside (2006, Silver Bear at Berlin).

Mohammed Soueid


Mohammed Soueid was born in 1959 in Beirut. After graduating in chemistry from the Lebanese University he began writing weekly film criticism for the daily Al-Safir and An-Nahar newspapers. He directed an award-winning autobiographical trilogy of documentaries: Tango of Yearning (1998), Nightfall (2000) and Civil War (2002). His books include Postponed Cinema-The Lebanese Civil War Films (1986) and the novel Cabaret Souad (2004). His latest documentary is Written on the Dust.
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