Your session is about to expire in: . Go to cart. Your session has expired! Login.


Narrative Feature Competition Jury

Jacki Weaver is an Australian theatre, film and television actress well known in her home country since her very successful debut in Stork (1971). She is best known outside Australia for her performance in David Michôd’s  Animal Kingdom (2010), for which she was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also received a National Board of Review Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. In 2012 Weaver received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in David O. Russell’s  The Silver Linings Playbook. Up next for the actress is crime drama The Voices, by Marjane Satrapi; the drama Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, costarring Gena Rowlands. Her latest film Parkland, was in competition in Venice.


Adrian Wootton is a respected name in the film and media industry in the United Kingdom. He has played a leadership role at the British Film Institute, the London Film Festival and the National Film Theatre. Wootton was presented with an honorary doctorate in arts and was selected as visiting professor of film and media at Norwich University of the Arts. Last year he also cocurated a large film and television retrospective for the international Dickens 2012 celebrations which successfully toured throughout the world. Wootton has also been part of the London Mayor’s Cultural Strategy Board, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and the European Film Academy (EFA). Currently he is the chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission and continues to develop the industry in the UK.

Hiam Abbass was born and raised in northern Galilee. She moved to France in the late 1980s and embarked on a career as a movie actress. She earned recognition in Red Satin by Tunisian Raja Amari. She has worked with top Middle Eastern filmmakers such as Yousry Nasrallah, as well as Jim Jarmusch (The Limits of Control), Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor) and Julian Schnabel (Miral, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). Abbass was an adviser to Stephen Spielberg on Munich. She conducted an acting workshop for the children in José González Iñárritu’s Babel. Abbass has made two short movies: Bread and The Eternal Dance, which she cowrote. Her first full-length directorial venture, Inheritance, was screened at the Venice Film Festival in 2012. Since October 2012, she has been playing Phaedra on stage in Phèdre les oiseaux.

Dora Bouchoucha was educated in her home country of Tunisia and at the Sorbonne in Paris in English literature and film. She has produced award-winning films like Red Satin, Buried Secrets, The Season of Men and Baraket. Bouchoucha founded the Carthage Film Festival Projects’ Workshop in 1992 and the Sud Écriture workshop in 1997. She was a member of the board of CineMart at the Rotterdam Festival for over 10 years, and was also a consultant for Arab and African films at the Venice Film Festival and has served on juries for various film festivals. She headed the Carthage Film Festival 2008–10, and in 2010, was appointed Head of the Fonds Sud Cinema and president of CNC Aide aux Cinemas du Monde in 2012. In 1995, Bouchoucha founded a production company, Nomadis Images.

Sandra den Hamer, current CEO of EYE Film Institute Netherlands, completed her studies in film and theatre science at the University of Utrecht. In 1986, she joined the Rotterdam Film Festival as CineMart coordinator and festival producer. She became deputy director in 1991, codirector with Simon Field in 2000 and sole director in 2004. Under her leadership the success of the festival grew exponentially, along with initiatives like CineMart and the Hubert Bals Fund. She was appointed director of the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam in 2007. In 2010 The Filmmuseum merged with Holland Film, the Netherlands Institute for Film Education and the film bank into EYE Film Institute Netherlands, whose aim is to augment Dutch national cinema culture. Den Hamer has successfully been heading EYE Film Institute since then.

New Horizons / AFAQ JADIDA Competition Jury

Yeşim Ustaoğlu graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Karadeniz Technical University in the Black Sea region of Turkey. She made short films for nearly ten years before making her feature film debut with The Trace (1994). Ustaoğlu received international recognition with her next feature Journey to the Sun (1999) winning honours at Cannes, San Sebastian, Venice, Berlin and Toronto and sweeping the awards at the Istanbul Film festival. She followed this success with award winners Waiting for the Clouds, Pandora’s Box and Araf which also won the Black Pearl for the Best Film at ADFF in 2012. Her films are marked by visual simplicity and deal with themes that reflect social conflicts in her own country but are universally relevant.


Irene Bignardi graduated in modern literature from the State University of Milan with a first class degree and attended the master’s course in communications at Stanford University with a Fullbright Scholarship. In 1976, she cofounded the daily newspaper La Repubblica to which she has been contributing, writing for the culture and entertainment pages, as a cinema critic. After working as adviser to Gillo Pontecorvo at the Venice Film Festival, she directed five successive editions of the Locarno Film Festival 2000–05. In 2006, she created and staged Desert Nights, a Rome-based Festival focused on climate change for the United Nations. She served as president of Filmitalia from 2006 to 2008. She has authored numerous books and essays and writes regularly in Vanity Fair Italy as a literary critic. 

Nour-Eddine Lakhmari, a renowned filmmaker from Morocco was initially a student of science and later went on to study at the Academy of Cinema in Norway. He has written and directed many award-winning feature films and TV series. He began his career with short films after which he returned to Morocco. He directed his feature debut Le Regard (2005) to critical acclaim. Lakhmari also directed a prime time TV series El Kadia for 2M, a Moroccan TV channel 2006–08. His second feature film CasaNegra (2008) won 21 awards at international film festivals and was Morocco’s official entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. His latest feature  Zero (2012) won the Best Film award at the National Film Festival in Morocco and made headlines by topping the box office.

Valery Todorovsky, born in Odessa in 1962, was introduced to cinema at an early age. His father, film director Piotr Todorovsky, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1983, for the film Wartime Romance. The son’s directorial debut Hearse (1990) won the Golden Ducat in Mannheim. His next work Love (1992) received the Ecumenical Prize at Cannes and established him as a talented director with a unique style. In 2008, Todorovsky directed the musical Hipsters (2008) which follows 1950s-era rebels influenced by Western culture. It won the Black Pearl Award for Best Narrative Film at Abu Dhabi and the Nika Award in 2009. Todorovsky has also written scripts for successful films including Cynics (1991) and Over the Dark Water (1993), and has produced 30 television series, including Birgada (2002), a Russian gangster series. 

Michel Kammoun, a filmmaker from Lebanon, was born in 1969. After studying architecture in Beirut, he joined the École Supérieure d’Études Cinématographiques in Paris. He has written and directed many short films which have participated in many international festivals and have been distributed in the USA, Canada, Latin America, Switzerland, Singapore, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy and France. He has also directed commercials and conducted screenwriting workshops. His first feature film Falafel (2006), in which he chronicles the tribulations of his country that has long been at war, has won nine international awards at festivals in Belgium, France, UAE, Netherlands, Egypt and Oman and has participated in prestigious film festivals worldwide.

Documentary Feature Competition Jury

As codirector and artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Cameron Bailey is responsible for the overall vision and execution of festival programming, as well as maintaining relationships with the international film industry. For more than 20 years, he has held positions as a programmer, a journalist and a writer and has curated film programmes for Cinematheque Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Film Board of Canada and the Sydney International Film Festival. His articles have been widely published and are keenly followed by film lovers. With the wealth of experience that he brings to his current leadership position, Bailey has made significant contribution to the growth of TIFF and has put it well on its way to becoming one of the top cultural institutions in the world.


Leonard Retel Helmrich, a celebrated screenwriter, innovative cinematographer and much acclaimed director, is from the Netherlands. Helmrich’s films have screened and won acclaim at film festivals worldwide, garnering awards including the inaugural Grand World Documentary Award at Sundance in 2005 and the Joris Ivens Award at IDFA Amsterdam 2004 for his Indonesian feature documentary Shape of the Moon. In 2010 he created history when he won for the second time the Grand VPRO/IDFA Award for feature documentary for Position Among the Stars together with the IDFA Award for the best Dutch documentary. The film also won him a Black Pearl at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2011. Often called the father of “single shot cinema,” Helmrich is frequently invited to lecture and screen his films at top educational institutions all over the world. 

Mahdi Fleifel was born in Dubai and was raised in a refugee camp in Lebanon. He graduated from the National Film and TV School in London in 2009. His first short film,  Shadi in a Beautiful Well (2003) and his most successful comedy, Arafat and I (2008), have won several awards. In 2010 Fleifel set up a production company, Nakba FilmWorks with Patrick Campbell. Their first feature-length project, A World Not Ours (2012), won a SANAD grant. This documentary premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and has since picked up awards at Brussels, Krakow, Reykjavik and Abu Dhabi, where it won the Black Pearl, the NETPAC and the FIPRESCI award. The film received the Peace Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival 2013 and more recently won the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival Prize.

Peter Machen is one of South Africa’s most respected arts and film writers. A communications consultant and a talented publication designer, Machen has produced a range of publications and has authored and designed two coffee table books: Durban: A Paradise and Its People and Durban: A Return to Paradise. He is also the Sunday Tribune’s resident film columnist and has been writing for and designing Durban International Film Festival’s publications in addition to editing the festival’s Reel Times daily newsletters. Having worked as programme advisor at DIFF for more than seven years, he was recently appointed to lead DIFF as its festival manager, a position to which he brings the wealth of his rich and diverse experience. Machen is also an avid art and music collector and is an important part of Durban’s cultural scene.

An Algerian film critic and journalist, Nabil Hadji graduated in information science and communication at the University of Algiers in 1996, and graduated from La Fémis in Paris in 1999. He has been a journalist for 20 years in the Algerian press, where he focussed on cinema. He has directed several short films and documentaries and has worked as a production manager and producer in films like Roschd Djigouadi's Broken Wings (2008), Mohamed Fateh Rabia's Les Étranges, 100% Cows directed by Yahia Mouzahem and Khouya (2010) by Yanis Koussim. Hadji is a founding member of the Algerian Association of Film Critics and is a member of the African Federation of Film Critics. He has served as chair and member of juries at several festivals and has helped promote Algerian cinema abroad.

Short Film Competition Jury

Born in 1945 in the town of Quneitra in the Golan Heights, Mohamad Malas is regarded as a pioneer in Syrian auteurist cinema. The conflict he witnessed while growing up played a major role in his work. After having worked as a teacher in Damascus, Malas received a scholarship to study at the Russian State Institute of Cinematography. He returned to Syria in 1974 and became a socially engaged filmmaker. He has received international acclaim for his feature and documentary films and has won awards at film festivals around the world. Among his most important films, most of which have themes of personal freedom and could be described most aptly as visual poetry, are Dreams of the City (1983, p. 99), The Night (1992) and Passion (2005). His latest film Ladder to Damascus premiered at Toronto. 


Hala Khalil obtained a degree in film directing in 1992 from the Cairo Film School and started her career by writing and directing short films and documentaries. Her short film The Kite (1997) travelled to many film festivals and won several awards and international acclaim. Khalil has written and directed two feature films Best of Times (2004) and Cut and Paste (2006), which have both been screened at various international film festivals and have won several awards and top honours at festivals in Egypt and overseas. She is currently working on her third feature film project that has been supported by SANAD titled Nawara: The Light Blue Satin Robe. Khalil’s work is marked by satire and features women as central characters.

A multitalented film director from Denmark, Jenle Hallund is also a well known scriptwriter and playwright who has been an incubator of ideas and a writing consultant for Melancholia and Nymphomaniac by Lars von Trier, who more recently entrusted her with directing the project Gesamt, which was unveiled as a four-screen film installation titled Disaster 501: What Happened to Man? at the Copenhagen Art Festival. Her groundbreaking international work, which often portrays conflict and its effects, includes working with prisoners in Belfast, abused boys and gang members in London. She is the winner of Denmark’s Robert Award in 2011 as codirector of the film Limboland, and is currently working on a film about the London riots in August 2011.

Khalid Al Mahmood is a prize-winning director from Abu Dhabi. While studying for a degree in mass communication at the University of Denver, he worked on his debut short film Business and Personal. He then went on to work as a producer at the news centre at Abu Dhabi TV until 2008. He made his second short film Boulevard of Broken Dreams during a two-week course at the New York Film Academy in 2000. Al Mahmood has since been consistently making short films. His award-winning films include Dreams in a Box, Celebration of Life and Fictional Story: Woman and Boy. He has won laurels for his film Sabeel (2010) at international film festivals. Al Mahmood also works with the Dubai International Film Festival. 

Founder of NISI MASA, the European Network of Young Cinema, Matthieu Darras has ideated and managed dozens of international workshops related to scriptwriting and filmmaking and has initiated some 70 film projects in more than 20 countries. He has been writing as a critic for the French film magazine Positif for more than 12 years. Darras was a regular member of the Cannes Critics’ Week selection committee 2005–11. He assumed the artistic direction of Alba Film Festival in Italy and of the IFF Bratislava in Slovakia and has been working for the Torino Film Lab since its inception in 2008 where he is the head of programming. He is also a representative of the San Sebastian Film Festival, where he is in charge of Central and Eastern Europe cinema.

Emirates Film Competition Jury


Born in Tebessa, Algeria, veteran director and screenwriter Ahmed Rachedi began his career in cinema during the Algerian war for independence. He held several positions in the National Centre for Cinema and headed the National Organisation for Commerce for the Film Industry in Algeria. He won acclaim with his second film Opium and the Stick (1969), which screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Other acclaimed films by Rachedi include Ali in Wonderland (1979), the award winning It Was the War (1993) and Mostefa Bennoulaid (2009). Ahmed Rachedi has produced over 20 films including The Sparrow (Youssef Chahine), Real Life (Michel Drach),  Brancaleone (Mario Monicelli) and Z (Costa Gavras), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Since 1990 he has headed Telecinex.


Oday Rasheed, celebrated Iraqi director and writer was part of the artistic collective known as Najeen (the survivors) until the American invasion. He wrote and directed numerous short films during that time. Rasheed’s debut feature film, Underexposure (2005), a docufiction on the lives of Iraqis who grew up during the Iraq embargo, received global acclaim. After its premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival it was shown at film festivals across the world and won awards for best film and script. His second film Quarantina (2010) also delves into the realities of Iraq. it won the Jury Award at the Oran International Film Festival. Rasheed is the cofounder of the Iraqi Independent Film Center along with Mohamed Al-Daradji. In 2012 he was chosen as an artist in residence at the San Francisco Film Society.

Taleb Al-Refai, a renowned journalist and author from Kuwait started off as a civil engineer. His first short story, “Al-Watan” was published in a Kuwaiti newspaper in 1978. He worked mainly as an engineer before moving to the National Council for Culture, Art and Literature in the mid 1990s where he continues to manage the culture and arts department. Al-Refai has published seven collections of short stories, a play, a number of critical works and four novels, including the controversial The Shadow of the Sun (1998). His novel The Scent of the Sea (2002) won the Kuwait National Award for Arts and Literature. His articles and columns continue to appear regularly in Kuwaiti newspapers. Al-Refai is the chair for the prestigious International Prize for Arab Fiction and the founder and chairman of the Cultural Circle in Kuwait.

Hafiz Ali Abdulla, an acclaimed filmmaker from Qatar, completed his BFA in theater design and technology from the California Institute of Arts in 1999 and MFA in film and TV directing from Chapman University in 2005 with high honors. His first two assignments were at Universal Studios Hollywood and Qatar TV. He made his first fiction film, Now Within in 1998. His subsequent film,  Cab Driver (2005) was shown at various international film festivals. His award-winning documentary films include The Oryx Return (2007) and Scents of Shadows (2009). Abdulla has been part of the esteemed jury panel at Doha Film and Al-Jazeera Documentary Film Festival. Since 2012, Hafiz has been the arts program manager at Cultural Development Centre at Qatar Foundation. 

Fadel Al Muhairi, a filmmaker from the UAE, received his degree in film studies from the American University of Sharjah in 2000. His debut film, Tolerance (2002) won best fiction story in the student film category at the Emirates Film Competition. His other short films, some of which have won awards for best screenplay and fiction film at Emirates Film Competition, include Al Ra’aboob  (2003), Al-Ghaith (2005), Under Construction (2006) and Night Guard (2010). Al Muhairi also won the competition for Emirati filmmakers at Abu Dhabi’s Middle East International Film Festival (2007) for his first feature film A Corsair’s Tale, a historical film about the two battles of Ras Al Khaimah, in which the British attacked and conquered the city.

Child Protection Competition Jury

Khaled Abol Naga studied engineering in Cairo and spacecraft design at the University of Surrey. But his passion was for theatre, so he moved on to study acting and directing in Egypt and the USA. He has been involved on both sides of the camera since coproducing 2009’s Heliopolis, directed by Ahmed Abdallah, which played at over a dozen festivals, including ADFF in 2009. He was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2007.


Chairman of the Department of Social Services since 2002 and member of Executive Council of Sharjah, Afaf Al Marri holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Sharjah. Al Marri has been managing the organization and administering social projects, modifying and proposing laws and regulations and participating in forums. She is a specialist in work sheets in the social services and established the first children’s helpline 800 700 in the United Arab Emirates in 2007.

Lt. Col. Faisal Al Shamari is the director of the UAE Ministry of the Interior Child Protection Centre. As a member of the Quality and Excellence Team he developed the IT policies of the the Abu Dhabi Police. His work won the Abu Dhabi Excellence Award for operational and crisis issues and counterterrorism. Al Shamari manages official communications during major events and is the coordinating officer and media representative of the Ministry of the Interior. He serves on the Child Protection Executive Committee.

Juma Al Sahli is an Emirati film director who graduated from the Higher College of Technology with a major in media production and studied film directing at the New York Film Academy. Al Sahli has won several awards including the Muhr Emirati best film award for The Goat’s Head at the Dubai International Film Festival, Best Cinematography for Paradise Evening at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Innovation Award from the Abu Dhabi Group of Culture and Arts. His other films include Mud and Sara’s Secrets.

Mona Al Bahar is a member of the Federal National Council and was the assistant director general for care and community services at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children till August 2013. She has been a consultant for youth and social development at the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy. She is a member of the UAE National Higher Committee on Child Protection. Al Bahar received her doctorate in social work from Ohio State University in 1997 and received the Morris Cornell Distinguished Researcher Award from OSU in 1997.








FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, has been in existence for more than 70 years. The essential purpose of the organisation, which now has members in more than 60 countries, is to support cinema as an art form. FIPRESCI collaborates with the European Film Academy for the FIPRESCI Prize for a first Feature Film and awards its own Best Film of the Year as well. FIPRESCI is also involved with the Berlinale Talent Campus to train young critics. At ADFF, the FIPRESCI jury will focus on Arab Films that are from the Narrative Feature, New Horizons and Documentary Feature Competition sections.

Film scholar, author, film critic


Film writer, editor and programmer

Film critic
Iraq, United Kingdom

NETPAC, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, established in 1990, is the leading platform for the discovery and promotion of Asian cinema. The organisation instituted the NETPAC Award to acknowledge and recognize the emergence of new cinematic talent among Asians. As more Asian films were selected for exhibition for world audiences, a yardstick for quality was necessary that matched the competitive spirit fuelling the creative urges of young Asian filmmakers. The NETPAC Award is now given at about 30 international film festivals in 22 countries on five continents. At ADFF the NETPAC Jury will select an Asian film from the Narrative, New Horizons and Documentary Competition sections as the winner of the NETPAC Award.


This award, sponsored by Masdar, celebrates films devoted to broadening awareness of significant environmental and related social issues. A jury of Masdar students awards a prize for the best film in the Our World competition. Established in 2006, Masdar is a commercially driven enterprise that operates to reach the broad boundaries of of the renewable energy and sustainable technologies industry thereby giving it the necessary scope to meet these challenges.

These films are eligible for the Our World Award.

Jessica Oreck

Thierry Rigobert

Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Douglas Kass 

Raoul Peck 

Shinji Aramaki 

Lech Kowalski 

Robert Stone

festival guidedownload