The Gulf Film Festival has announced two eminent jury panels comprising filmmakers, authors and critics to select standout voices in local, regional, and international short films, documentaries, and feature films. The Festival, slated for April 14 to 20, 2011 at Dubai Festival City, features two key competitions: The Gulf Competition, for films by Gulf filmmakers […]
The Gulf Film Festival has announced two eminent jury panels comprising filmmakers, authors and critics to select standout voices in local, regional, and international short films, documentaries, and feature films.
The Festival, slated for April 14 to 20, 2011 at Dubai Festival City, features two key competitions: The Gulf Competition, for films by Gulf filmmakers and students, or filmmakers of other nationalities with films that showcase the region; and the inaugural International Competition for Short Films open to films and filmmakers from around the world. Nearly half a million dirhams will be distributed as prize money to the winners in the various categories.
The Gulf Competition jury comprises veteran Egyptian filmmaker Magdy Ahmed Aly, with Emirati poet and author Ahmed Rashed Thani, and Iraqi filmmaker Kais Al-Zubaidi. The international short film competition committee will be headed by Montserrat Guiu Valls, Managing Director of the Festival de Cine de Huesca, with Bahraini filmmaker Bassam Al-Thawadi and Lebanese film critic Hauvick Habechian as members.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Festival Director, said: The Gulf Film Festival competitions present a compelling array of films that underscore the rich talent from our region and, with the first international shorts competition, the Festival will also showcase new places and voices and filmmaking trends from around the world. The analysis and recommendations from these accomplished jury members will serve as a roadmap for filmmakers in their continuing quest to make films that can cut through all barriers and find global acceptance.
Aly, whose filmography includes The Nile Birds, The World, My Love, The Hero, Fawzeyas Secret Recipe and A Girls Secret, is renowned for his films investigating controversial subjects. The Egyptian director has recently begun filming The Square, inspired by events and people involved in the January 25 revolution.
A poet and former cultural journalist, Ahmed Rashed Thani has worked in several cultural institutions since 1990. An alumnus of the UAE University, he has also written plays and books including Blood of the Candle (Sharjah, 1991), Edges of the Rooms (Beirut, 1998), The Morning Sitting on the Sea (Sharjah, 2003), and Comes the Night and Carries Me (Beirut, 2007).
Award-winning Iraqi-born filmmaker Kais Al-Zubaidi has worked across cinema disciplines as a cinematographer, editor, author, critic and director in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Germany. His filmography includes the well-known trilogy Men Under the Sun and Palestine: The Record of a People. Al-Zubaidi has also served as a jury member for the Cairo, Damascus, Leipzig and Paris film festivals.
Al-Thawadis storied career in television and cinema includes producing and directing the seminal films to emerge from Bahrain, including The Barrier, considered the first feature film made in Bahrain; Visitor and A Bahraini Tale.
A founding member of the GCC Cinema Society and a graduate of the Higher Institute of Cinema in Cairo, Al Thawadi is also the founder and director-general of the first Arab Cinema Festival in Bahrain and served on the jury of the Arab Film Festival in Paris. He is currently the Head of the Drama and Documentary section at Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation.
Habéchians relationship with cinema began at the age of eight. A self-taught director, he made his debut in the film industry after writing Consumed, comprising the writings of major film journals such as the Cahlers du Cinema, and Positive, before discovering the works of Jean-Piere Goux-Pelletan and Samir Nassari. He began his career as a film critic for renowned newspapers and the Francophone Lebanese, before heading the weekly page of the Daily Reference section of film for Annahar newspaper in 2005. He has covered major film festivals including Cannes, Venice and Berlin, and directed numerous episodes of the series Al-Arabiya Al-Adassa for Al Jazeera news.
Finally, actress Guiu Valls represents the 39-year-old Festival de Cine de Huesca, one of Spains premiere short film festivals. A specialist in film conservation and restoration, she is also former director of the Native American Film and Video Festival in Barcelona and has served on festival juries in Tehran, Madrid and Amman.
The Gulf Competition is for films from the Arabian peninsula, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Yemen and Iraq. The Student Competition is open to works made or produced by students during their academic study, or as part of a college project. Entries in the Gulf Competition are invited in three categories: Feature Films, Short Films, and Documentaries. Students compete in short films and documentaries only, while international films compete in short films only.
The fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival will be held from April 14 to 20, 2011, at the InterContinental Hotel and Grand Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. The 2011 Festival includes out-of-competition segments, a master class by renowned director Abbas Kiarostami, a celebration for French director Gerard Courant, and other special events. All films are free and open to the public. The festival is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is held in association with Dubai Studio City. More details are available online at www.gulffilmfest.com.
This press release was issued by GFF.