Luis Puenzo - President
Luis Puenzo was born in Buenos Aires. He has had a long and successful career in feature films, advertising and documentaries both at home and internationally. He founded his own production company at a young age. As a writer and director he is best known for The Official Story (1985), which was the first Latin American film to win the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. His other films include Old Gringo (1989), The Plague (1992) and The Whore and the Whale (2004). He also produced his daughter Lucía Puenzo’s Festival de Cannes selection XXY (2007). His company, Historias Cinematográficas, is involved in production and postproduction services in Spain and a number of Latin American nations, and forms a group with his advertising company, Puenzo Hnos.
Faouzi Bensaïdi made his first short film, The Cliff, in 1997; it won 23 prizes at festivals around the world. In 2000, he directed two shorts: The Wall, which won a prize at the Festival de Cannes, and The Rain Line, which won a prize at the Venice Film Festival. His first feature film, A Thousand Months, won two prizes at Cannes and WWW – What a Wonderful World (2006) was selected for the Venice Film Festival..
Karim Aïnouz is a filmmaker and visual artist. His feature-film debut, Madame Satã, premiered in 2002 at the Festival de Cannes. Suely in the Sky, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2006. His films have received numerous international awards. His art installations have been shown in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial (1997) and the São Paulo Biennial (2004).
Siddiq Barmak was born in Afghanistan in 1962. He earned an MA in cinema from the VGIK institute in Moscow. His debut feature, Osama (2003), won awards at the Festival de Cannes and the Pusan Film Festival. His second film, Opium War (2008), was named Best Film at the Rome Film Festival and was named best foreign-language film at the Golden Globe Awards.
Sulaf Fawakherji is one of Syria’s most celebrated film and television personalities. She has appeared in five feature films and over 50 television shows, garnering several awards for her work as well as participating in numerous film festivals, including visits to Cannes in 2006 and 2008 for her films Halim and Baby Doll.