Jury

Feature Narrative Competition Jury

Sarah Johnson

Head of Jury

CO-CEO AND FOUNDER, GREEN HUMMINGBIRD ENTERTAINMENT Johnson is a two-time Emmy and Peabody award winning independent film producer, she is an executive producer on several notable recent films including Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2015; James Gray’s period drama, The Immigrant; Guillaume Canet’s crime thriller Blood Ties; Atom Egoyan’s crime thriller Devil’s Knot; David Gordon Green’s drama Joe; and Eli Roth’s horror thriller The Green Inferno. Her documentaries on social issues include the Academy Award nominated The Square, Chasing Ice and The Invisible War, as well as the critically acclaimed The Hunting Ground and Living In Emergency: Stories Of Doctors Without Borders. Johnson is an activist for environmental, educational, and gender issues. She is a member of the Television Academy and an active member of the Producers Guild of America. A former Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton, she is active on the boards of St. Lawrence University, Conservation South Africa, and Chairs the board at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. She holds a B.S. in Biology from St. Lawrence University.

Mark Adams

Jury Member

Mark Adams is the Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, who joined the team in 2015. He was Chief Film Critic for the respected film trade paper Screen International and was also a film critic for The Sunday Mirror in the UK. He attends most key international film festivals around the world as a film journalist and reviewer for more than 25 years he has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International, as well as many national newspapers in the UK. He has also worked extensively in the film industry. He was Head of Programming at the National Film Theatre in London for six years; was the Director of Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and has been programmer for film festivals around the world as well as acting as a consultant for various film organizations.

Lyes Salem

Jury Member

Lyes Salem was born in Algiers, Algeria in 1973. After studying at the National Conservatory for Superior Dramatic Arts, he performed in some of the most respected theaters in the country. His second short film, Cousines, received France’s César award for Best Short Film in 2005. As an actor, he has appeared in a number of films, including Alex, Banlieue 13 and L’Ecole de la Chair. Mascarade, his first feature film as a director, has won multiple awards. In 2014, he was awarded the Valois for best actor for his second feature film, L’Oranais. In 2015, he joined the cast of the Belgian hit I am dead but I have friends. In 2016, he acted in the film Carole Matthieu. This year, he can be seen in Carine Tardieu's film Otez moi d'un doute alongside Francois Damiens and Cecile de France in Samuel Jouy's Sparring with co-star Matthieu Kassovitz.

David D'Arcy

Jury Member

David D’Arcy is a critic and journalist based in New York. He reviews films for Screen International, The Art Newspaper of London (UK), and for KSFR radio. He also writes regularly on film for the San Francisco Chronicle. For more than twenty years, he covered movies and the business of movies for National Public Radio. His writings on films haves been published in The Economist, Indiewire, The Financial Times, The Guardian, and Variety. His film blog, Outtakes, can be read at artinfo. com. A frequent speaker and juror at film festivals, Mr. D’Arcy is at work on an anthology of interviews with the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He is an art critic for the Observer (New York) and has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Wesleyan University, Columbia University and at the École supérieure de commerce de Paris. He lives in New York.

Ossama Fawzi

Jury Member

Born in Cairo in 1961, Osama Fawzi studied film making at the Higher Institute of Cinema of Cairo. In 1996, he directed his first feature film The Asphalt Kings (Afareet Al-Asfalt) which acquired him a lot of recognition in various local and international festivals and received many awards including the best film award from a Special Jury Committee, in Locarno Film Festival 1996. His next film was Fallen Angels Paradise (Gannet El-Shayateen) in the year 2000, which made him stand out as an innovator in the Egyptian movie industry and brought him, also, international recognition throughout various festivals. His film I love Cinema (Baheb El- Cima)in 2004, has been subject to controversy among critics and the Egyptian Coptic minority, which won him a few awards as well. In 2009 Osama Fawzi was involved in a JSC (Al-Jazeera children) special film production and in the year 2010 he directed his most recent film In Natural Colors.

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Feature Documentary Competition Jury

Deborah Young

Head of Jury

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Deborah graduated with honors from Wellesley College and received an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. After moving to Italy, she worked as a journalist, film critic, screenwriter and translator. From 1990 to 1993 she was Variety's Rome Bureau Chief. In 2008, became the International Film Editor of The Hollywood Reporter. She is also a contributing editor of the American quarterly Cineaste. Deborah has been a consultant for the Tribeca Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. She was the Artistic Director of the Taormina Film Fest from 20072011-. Under her mandate, the festival assumed a strong Mediterranean identity and greatly increased its international audience and prestige with films from Egypt and the Maghreb.

Sitora Alieva

Jury Member

Born in Dushanbe. she Made her film debut as actress at the age of 7. In the following 9 years played about ten roles in art and television films. In 1987 graduated from the scriptwriting and film history department of the Film Institute VGIK (course of E. Surkov and L. Mamatova). From 1987-88 expert of the Culture Fund. From 1987-91 senior film-editor at the studio “Tadjikfilm”. Since 1991 lives and works in Moscow. From 1991-93 editor at the Fund for Cinema Support. From 1994-96 assistant to D. Dondurei, editorin- chief of the journal Film Art, at the same time film program coordinator of the International Film Festival in Sochi held by “Kinotavr” Company Group. From 1999-2005 director and member of the selection committee of the IFF Sochi, the IFF “Faces of Love”, and the International Children’s Arts Festival “Kinotavrik”. From 2002-2005 executive director Open Russian Film Festival “Kinotavr”. Since 2005 programme director of the ORFF “Kinotavr”.

Tamer Karawan

Jury Member

Tamer Karawan studied Engineering at The American University in Cairo then studied music at The Royal School of Music. He worked as an editor at the British Broadcasting Corporation, and then a documentary director at Orbit Television Networks. In 1998, Karawan’s first score was for Yousri Nasrallah’s El Medina, then Raafat El-Mihi’s Alshan Rabena Yehebak, Mohamed Khan’s Banat West El Balad and Fi Shaket Misr El Gadida, Osama Fawzy’s Bel Alwan El Tabieia, Sameh Abdel Aziz’s Cabaret. Karawan continued composing distinguished scores for renowned director Yousri Nasrallah’s films such as: Genenet Al Asmak, Ehky ya Shahrazad, After the Battle, and Bab Al Shams. He has also composed the music scores for several documentaries including Ostorat Rose Al Youssef by Mohamed Al Qaliouby in 2002, Ashekat Al Cinema by Producer and Director Marianne Khoury, Tamer Ezzat‘s Kol Shi Hayb’aa Tamam (2005) and Makan Esmo Watan, Tahani Rached’s These Girls and Giran in 2009. In 2016 he composed the music for Kamla Abu Zikry’s A Day for Women and Ali Edress’ The Other Land both in the official selection of The Cairo International Film Festival.

Subniv Babuta

Jury Member

Subniv Babuta joined the BBC directly after finishing his studies at Oxford University. After a short stint as a producer for BBC Radio 4 & 3, he moved to London Weekend Television as a reporter and researcher. In 1987, he returned to BBC Television, and stayed there until 2006, as a Producer/ Director, then Executive Producer, in BBC News & Current Affairs. In 2006, Subniv joined Endemol, the world’s largest independent production company, and now has his own production company, Damida Ltd., based in London. He was in charge of the BBC’s Millennium Night broadcast, 2000 Today, the 26-hour live show and also an Executive Producer of the animated series The 99. Since its inception in 2000, Subniv has also produced each year the global television broadcast of The International Indian Film Academy Awards, now in its eighteenth year of production. His current portfolio includes various international documentaries, a new broadcasting venture featuring E-Sports, and a new crime series using virtual reality 3D animation enabling viewers to explore and interact with recreated crime scenes.

Sean McAllister

Jury Member

Director Sean McAllister is known for his candid, frank films, depicting with extraordinary intimacy the lives of ordinary people who are struggling to survive but are survivors, caught up in political and personal conflict, struggling to make sense of the world we live in. From his early films Working For The Enemy (1997) and The Minders (1998), both nominated for a Royal Television Society Awards, to his more recent successes, Sundance Jury Prize-winning The Liberace Of Baghdad (2004), Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate (2008) and ‘The Reluctant Revolutionary, Sean’s work continues to inspire, to surprise and to fascinate audiences. His most recent BAFTA nominated, multi award winning film, A Syrian Love Story (2015) was screened in the UK and European parliaments, released independently to critical acclaim, named The Guardian's #3 best film of 2015, and awarded the prestigious Cinema for Peace Justice Award. He is currently working on a feature documentary in Hull for the BBC and BFI.

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Short Film Competition Jury

Nelly Karim

Head of Jury

Nelly Karim is an Egyptian actress, fashion model and ballerina. Her debut in filmmaking was through Shabab Alla elhawa, which introduced Nelly with the Egyptian - Turkish film escape “The Runaway Mummy”, which was a turning point in her career. Then she starred in several successful films. In 2004, She won Best Actress award in the Cairo International Film Festival for her role in Enta Omry (My soulmate) and a Special Award at the Cairo National Festival for Egyptian Cinema in 2010 for her role in film One-Zero. A year later, she won the Jury Grand Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for her role in 678 followed by the Best Actress Prize for the same film at the Arab Film Festival in 2012. She was a jury member in both Cairo International Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Though other Egyptian artists have participated in the Venice International Film Festival's jury before, Nelly Karim was the first actress selected for this role in 2016. Most recently, she starred in Clash that premiered in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section and has been selected to represent Egypt at the 2017 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Najwa Najjar

Jury Member

Writer/ Director Najwa Najjar received her BA Political Science and Economics, MA Film (US). She has worked in both documentary and fiction since 2000. Her critically acclaimed debut was the award-winning feature film Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009). Her second award winning feature film Eyes of a Thief (2014) which won Best Director and Best Actor awards (among many others) brought for the first time in Palestinian cinema Egyptian superstar Khaled Abol Naga The film was the Palestinian nomination for the 2015 Oscars Best Foreign Film and the Golden Globe Awards. She’s a speaker on numerous panels on cinema and a Jury member of several International Film Festivals. Najjar has reviewed books, and her articles on Palestinian cinema have been published. She has been a reader for the Rawi Sundance Lab for Arab scriptwriters and has been an advisor for the Rawi Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab for two consecutive sessions. She is currently in preproduction on her third feature film, a road trip: Son of a Very Important Man to be shot throughout Palestine.

Ali Mostafa

Jury Member

Ali F. Mostafa is one of the pioneering Emirati filmmakers. Growing up in the UAE, Ali pursued his goal in 2003 when he enrolled at the London Film School to obtain an M.A. of practical training in film. He set up his own production company, AFM Films in 2007, producing feature films, short films, documentaries, TV commercials, and corporate films. Ali's short graduation film Under the Sun has been officially selected and nominated for best Foreign Film in various international festivals across the world. It also won ‹Best Emirates Film 2006, In the Emirates Film Competition held in the countries Capital, Abu Dhabi. Ali's work gained him recognition as Best Emirati Filmmaker, by the Dubai International Film Festival in 2007. His latest feature, The Worthy produced by Imagination Abu Dhabi, is the Arab world’s first postapocalyptic thriller. Ali was awarded Man of The Year in 2014 by Esquire Magazine’s Man at His Best Awards for his achievements in helping build a UAE film industry.

Anissa Daoud

Jury Member

Anissa Daoud is an actress, author, producer and director for cinema and theater. She works on creations often focused on transdisciplinary. She is currently starring in Lotfi Achour's feature film Burning Hope, which she co-wrote and produced. In parallel to her work as an actress she co-founded the A.P.A: Artistes Producteurs Associés and created a production tool that resembled her, based on the meeting of artists from diverse disciplines and with a requirement to bring coherence between the artistic works and their means of production. In cinema, she has produced in addition to Burning Hope, the short films Law of the lamb by Lotfi Achour, that was in official selection at the Cannes Film festival 2016 and All the rest is the work of man by Doria Achour, that was in official selection of the Venice Film Festival 2016. She is currently preparing the shooting of The Bath which will be her first short film of fiction after numerous collaborations as artistic director on the short films of Lotfi Achour and also developing a screenplay for her first feature film Les immortelles.

Nina Rodriguez

Jury Member

Originally from Cologne, Germany, where she started working in the music industry, Nina Rodríguez holds an MA in the Presentation and Preservation of the Moving Image from the University of Amsterdam and has been Head of Programming at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico since 2006. Having collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in the past, she is currently also part of the team behind Qumra, an initiative of the Doha Film Institute providing mentorship for international film projects from development through post-production. She served as Academic Coordinator for the Pueblo Mágico Mexican Film Residency in Tepoztlán and has curated showcases and participated on panels and juries at many other Mexican and international events including FICG, Tous Ecrans, Berlinale Talents and Sarajevo Film Festival.

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