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ADFF Announces 2012 Juries

International luminaries representing all aspects of filmmaking craft will bring their expertise to Abu Dhabi next week to assess the quality of the films screening in competition at this year's Festival.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival awards prizes to films in five competitions: Narrative Feature, New Horizons, Documentary Feature, Short Films, and the increasingly hard-fought Emirates Film Competition. In addition FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, awards a prize to Arab films screening in competition, while the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) will award the NETPAC prize to an Asian film.

For the Jury of the Narrative Feature Competition internationally acclaimed Hindi actress Shabana Azmi, star of more than 120 Hindi films and numerous international productions, has been appointed President. She will be joined by Cédomir Kolar, producer of Academy Award winning film no man's land; Samir Farid, renowned Egyptian film critic; Niki Karimi, Iranian actress turned director and screenwriter whose feature debut screened at Cannes in 2005; and Ismaël Farroukhi, French-Morroccan director who won the Best Director from the Arab World at ADFF last year among many other Awards.

New Horizons Competition recognises outstanding early work from new directors (first or second feature). Academy-award winning film editor Françoise Bonnot will lead the jury, comprised of Giorgio Gosetti, regarded as one of the finest film programmers in the world and Director of Venice Days; Vikmuthi Jayasundra, the only Sri Lankan director to have won the Camera D'Or at Cannes; Mohamed Al-Daradji, named Variety's Middle East Filmmaker of the Year; and Nawaf Al-Janahi, one of the leading lights of Emirati filmmaking. His feature the circle (2009) was one of the first Emirati films to receive attention on an international scale.

The Jury of the Documentary Feature Competition will be led by Chilean director Miguel Littin, twice nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar for his films. Ethiopian director Haile Gerima, whose film taza (2008) won the jury prize at Venice; veteran journalist and Oscar nominated director Carles Bosch; Safinez Bousbia, whose film el guato earned her the Best New Director (Documentary) at ADFF in 2011 and the multi award-winning Egyptian script director and Producer Mohamed Hefzy complete the jury.

The jury of the Emirates Film Competition will be led by Tunisian director-producer Rida Behi, who will be joined by Ahd Kamel / Saudi Arabia, Ali Al Ali / Bahrain, Suha Salem / Iraq and Bader Ben Hirsi /Yeman. The Short Film Competition will be judged by Ahmed Magdy / Egypt, Ahmed Hasan Ahmed / UAE, Felix van Groeningen / Belgium and Rania Attieh / Lebanon, USA under the leadership of the Algerian-Dutch director Karim Traïdia, a multi award-winning director.

Festival Director Ali Al Jabri also announced that New Horizons jury president Françoise Bonnot will be conducting a master class during the Festival.

"Madame Bonnot is one of the most respected film editors in the world. It is an incredible opportunity for filmmakers to learn from her."

Audience members can also 'be the jury' by casting their vote for the Audience Award, open to all films screening in the Showcase section of the programme.

This is the first year the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has been presented under the management of TwoFour54, as part of the plan to strategically align the festival alongside Abu Dhabi's other media initiatives and related events, reinforcing Abu Dhabi as the creative hub for the region supporting film production.

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