CAIRO – 18 November 2019: The 41st edition of Cairo International Film Festival will kick off on November 20-29. Egypt Today will give its readers the fully list of the upcoming edition jury members.
1- International competition
Stephen Gaghan ( jury president)
Stephen Gaghan is an Academy Award winning screenwriter and director. He has emerged amidst his generation as a filmmaker especially attuned to thrilling, multi-narrative storylines and carefully wrought emotional drama. In 2001, Gaghan earned the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Steven Soderbergh’s film Traffic. For that film, he also won a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA award. Gaghan was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2006 for Syriana, which he also directed. That film also won the best supporting actor Oscar for George Clooney. Gaghan directed Gold starring Matthew McConaughey. Upcoming, Gaghan wrote and directed Dolittle starring Robert Downey Jr., Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard, set to release in January 2020. Gaghan’s additional film writing credits include Havoc (2005), The Alamo (2004), and Rules Of Engagement (2000). Additionally, he has two Edgar Awards and won the 1997 Emmy for Best Dramatic Writing for an episode of NYPD Blue.
Daniele Luchetti is one of the most popular Italian film directors. He is well known for films such as “The Yes Man” (1991), “My Brother is a Lonely Child” (2007), “Our Life” (2010) for which Elio Germano was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in same year, “Happy Years” (2013), and “Chiamatemi Francesco” (2015), the latest being a biopic of Pope Francis edited both as a film and as a four episodes TV series.
Luchetti is currently editing his new film “Lacci”, based on the homonymous novel by Domenico Starnone. Luchetti’s films have participated in numerous international festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, Locarno, Tokyo and Venice. As a director and screenwriter, he won five David di Donatello awards, twice Golden Globes, and several other international awards.
Ibrahim Abdel Meguid
Ibrahim Abdel Meguid is an Egyptian novelist who was born In Alexandria in 1946. He studied philosophy at the Faculty of Arts. He left Alexandria in 1974 to work and live in Cairo. He writes novels, short stories, and social and political articles. His articles were published in the most famous Egyptian and Arabic newspapers like Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar, Al-Hayat, Al-Adab, Al-Masry Al-Youm and others.
He wrote 19 novels including Alexandria Trilogy: “No One Sleeps in Alexandria” which was translated to French and Spanish, “Birds of Amber” which was translated to English, and “Clouds over Alexandria”. He also wrote five collections of short stories, as well as wrote “24 Hours Before The War” for the theatre. Abdel Meguid received several important awards including the Naguib Mahfouz prize from AUC press in 1996, the Egyptian State Appreciation Prize for all his works in 2007, and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2016.
Lamia Chraibi is a producer. She founded two production companies Moon a Deal Films which was created in 2011 in Paris, and La Prod which was created in 2007 in Casablanca. After completing her studies in audiovisual communication management in France, she worked for nine years for various Parisian productions. She accompanied directors in their creative process, including Hicham Lasri, Narjiss Nejjar, Ismaïl Ferroukhi, Mohcine Besri whose films were selected at international festivals. She also co-produced Oliver Laxe’s film “Mimosas” which won The Grand Prize of the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival and Cairo’s Golden Pyramid in 2016. She also produced various feature film projects and television programs.
Marion Hänsel was born in 1949 in Marseille and grew up in Antwerp. She founded her own production company, Man's Films in 1977, in order to make her first short film “Equilibres”. In 1982, she directed her first feature film “The Bed”. She also produced all of the 13 films she directed including “Dust” which won the First Work Prize at Venice Film Festival in 1985, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” which competed in the official completion on Cannes Film Festival in 1995 and “Sounds of Sand” in 2006. Hänsel also produced/co-produced more than 10 feature films of other directors including “No Man’s Land” directed by Danis Tanovic in 2001.
Michel Franco is a director, scriptwriter and producer who was born in Mexico City in 1979. The films he has written, directed and produced include “Chronic” which nominated for the Palme d'Or and won the Best Screenplay award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and “After Lucia” which won the Best Film Award at Certain Regard at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. He has produced “600 Miles” directed by Gabriel Ripstein which won the Best First Feature award at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. His most recent work “April´s Daughter” was screened at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival and won the Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard competition. Michel was a jury member at the 74th edition of Venice International Film Festival.
Qin Hailu is a Chinese actress, who is also known for her work as a director, a producer, and a screenwriter. She has played more than 50 impressive roles in films and TV series, throughout her career. In 2000, Qin Hailu won five big awards at different Chinese festivals for her role in “Durian Durian” directed by Chen Guo, including the Best Actress award in the 6th Hong Kong Critics Society Awards, as well as the Best Actress award in the 38th Taiwan Golden Horse Awards. In 2011, “A Simple Life”, where she participated, was screened in the 68th Venice International Film Festival. In the same year, “The Piano in a Factory”, in which she was both the leading actress and the producer, received positive reviews, where she won the Best Actress award at the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival. In 2019, she directed “The Return”, winning Best Actor award in the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival.
2- Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition
Piers Handling is the former Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). He held this position from 1994-2018. Under Handling’s direction, the organization grew to become an internationally renewed cultural institution. In 2010, TIFF opened its own permanent home, which presents daily programming. Handling has curated numerous film retrospectives and presented programs of Canadian Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival, The British Film Institute and has sat on festival juries including Cannes, Tokyo, Rotterdam and Torino. Handling began his career at the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), ultimately becoming deputy director. After leaving the CFI, he taught Canadian cinema at Carleton University in Ottawa and Queen’s University in Kingston. He has published extensively on Canadian cinema and edited numerous books.
Thomas Kretschmann recently wrapped Michael Samuel's Independent Feature, The Windermere Children, where he will play the lead role of Oscar Friedmann; and will also be featured in the upcoming Showtime series Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels. Thomas will also soon appear in Axis Sally, the Michael Polish film featuring Al Pacino. Previously, he starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Greg McLean's independent feature Jungle and appeared in the EPIX series Berlin Station. Thomas starred in Stratton for Simon West opposite Dominic Cooper and has given memorable performances in features such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Central Intelligence and King Kong. He is internationally renowned and has worked with iconic directors including Peter Jackson, Roman Polanski and Guillermo Del Toro. His film Stalingrad was one of the highest-grossing Russian films ever.
Betty Taoutel is a TV, theatre, and film actress, as well as a writer and theatre director. She holds a diploma in Drama Studies and a Masters degree in drama and writing. She has been a university professor at the Saint Joseph University in Lebanon since 1999, and at the Lebanese University's Faculty of Fine Arts since 2016. She was also a theatre professor and a jury member at the Arabic Star Academy TV show from 2004 to 2016. She participated as a jury member and guest of honour in several international film and theatre festivals. She acted in a number of plays with some of the most important Arab directors in Lebanon and abroad. She has also participated in a number of Lebanese TV series, as well as short and long feature films. She wrote and directed a large number of very popular and successful plays most notably: The Last House in Gemayzeh (2010), Passport No. 10452 which was presented in Arabic and French in 2013 as part of the Arab World Festival of Montreal. It was also played in Lebanon, Greece, South Africa, and France.
Stefan Kitanov was the director and programmer of Cinema House, a leading art house cinema theatre in Bulgaria from 1992-1999. In 1997, he founded the Sofia International Film Festival, which is considered as the biggest international film festival in Bulgaria and one of the key film events in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 1995 with both production companies, he has produced and co-produced more than 20 films which received national and international recognition, with directors such as Rangel Valchanov, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Stephan Komandarev and Peter Brosens. In Bulgaria, Kitanov has distributed more than 100 European films by directed by established filmmakers such as Wim Wenders, Michael Haneke, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Lars von Trier, Aki Kaurismaki, Terry Gilliam and Dardenne Brothers. He was a jury member in Venice, Cannes, Karlovy Vary, and Moscow film festivals. He is a member of the European Film Academy.
Hana Shiha is a famed Egyptian actress who was born in Beirut to an artistic family of four sisters, who are also actresses, the most famous is Hala Shiha. Her father is the internationally acclaimed Egyptian painter Ahmed Shiha. Pursuing her passion for stories, cinema and performing, she enrolled in the Academy of Arts, receiving a Bachelor's degree from the High Institute of Dramatic Arts, majoring acting and directing.
She started her career by a role in “The West Bank” TV series in 2002, which offered her a leading role in Khaled Al Hagar's film “Girl's Love” in 2004. This was followed by the leading role in Sameh Abdel Aziz's first film “Private Lesson” in 2005. Her real breakthrough was through Khaled Marei's TV series “The Seven Commandments” in 2014. Chosen for her creativity and genuinely playing her roles, Mohamed khan, the internationally acclaimed film director, picked her to star his last feature film “Before The Summer Crowds” in 2015.
3-Cinema of Tomorrow jury
Hanan Motawie is a famed Egyptian actress who started her career in the beginning of the 2000s through with a role in the 2001 series “Hadith Al Sabah Wal Masaa” (Morning and Evening Talk), where she made quiet a first appearance which attracted the attention of producers and directors. She worked in series like “Ta'ala Nehlam be Bokra” (Let's Dream of Tomorrow), “Amira In Abden”, and “Sarah” which achieved remarkable success. But her performance in “Dahsha” (Surprise) directed by Shady Al-Fakhrani is the beginning of a new level of her career where she proved her brilliant ability to present her artistic talent, That was confirmed in “Wannous” by the same director and Tamer Mohsen's “Haza Al-Masaa” (This Evening), and finally Hussien El Menbawy's “Lams Aktaf” (Touching Shoulders).
She also appeared in several films such as Said Hamed's “Watch Yourself” (Ewa Weshk, 2003), Hala Khalil's “Kas w Lazk” (Cut and Paste, 2006) for which she won the Best Actress award from the Catholic Centre. Ahmed Atef's “Al-Ghaba” (The Jungle, 2007), and “Qabl Al-Rabea” (Before Spring, 2013), a role for which she nominated for the International Francophone award. She recently a special appreciation award for her role in Ayman Makram's “A Day and A Night” which was screened at the Casablanca Arab Film Festival.
After studying Spanish Language and Literature in Barcelona and Utrecht, Nathalie Mierop started working at the Latin-American department of public broadcaster Radio Netherlands Worldwide. She then moved to the film industry and worked for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and Rio International Film Festival amongst others. Since 2010, Nathalie has worked at Eye International, a department within the Eye Film Institute Netherlands responsible for the promotion of Dutch cinema at festivals and events worldwide. From October 2019, Eye International has been renamed SEE NL which is a close collaboration between Eye and the Netherlands.
Nuno Rodrigues is the co-founder and the artistic director of the Portuguese film festival Curtas Vila do Conde. In 1999, he founded Agência - Portuguese Short Film Agency, where he is now a member of the board of directors, and handles the promotion and distribution of Portuguese short films at international markets. Since 2005, he has been the director and coordinator of the Solar Cinematic Art Gallery in Vila do Conde, where he has curated numerous exhibitions. In recent years, has also been active as a film producer, and in 2013 he became vice president of Short Circuit, a network for film and video art distribution in Europe. More recently he began his career as a producer together with the directors Sergei Loznitsa, Helvécio Marins JR, Felipe Bragança, Miguel Clara Vasconcelos and Lois Patino.
4- Critic’s Week Competition jury
Jessica Kiang is an International Critic for Variety, covering all the major European and Asian festivals. She also writes for Sight & Sound, BBC Culture and The Playlist, where she spent five years as Features Editor. She has served on festival juries from Iceland to Romania and most recently was a jury of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival Platform competition. She lives in Berlin.
Nadine Khan is a filmmaker living and working between Cairo and London. She earned her BA in film directing from the Egyptian High Film Institute in 2001. Since then, she has directed several fiction films, commercials, TV series, and music videos. Her debut feature film “Chaos, Disorder” (2012) won the Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival and the Best Film award at the Oran Film Festival in 2013 and the Muscat International Film Festival in 2014. One of Khan’s four short films “One in a Million” was screened in the official selections of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. She has also co-directed the critically acclaimed TV series “Seventh Neighbor” in 2017.
Nageh Hassan is a Jordanian film critic and researcher was born in the Jordanian town of Karameh in 1959. He was a member of the Jordanian Film Club from 1983 to 1991. He is also a member of the Cinema Committee at the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF), the Jordanian Writers Association, as well as the Arab Writers Union. He has written numerous studies and researches in various Arab newspapers and magazines, including Al-Jeel, Al-Rai, Al-Dustour, Al-Arab Al-Youm. He film reviews at Al-Rai daily newspaper which is published in Amman. He headed the culture section of the Jordan News Agency (Petra). He participated in many Arab and international cinema events in Amman, including the joint Arab-French Film Festival, which is held annually in the Jordanian capital. He was selected as a member of the jury of the Avisano Short Film Festival in Italy in 2001 and a member of the jury of the Jordanian Short Film Competition. He was also selected as a jury member with the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) at the Dubai Film Festival. He has published several books in film criticism, including “Cinema and Film Culture” and “Now on the White Screen”.
5- Best Arab Film Award jury
Asma Graimiche is a producer and distributer from Morocco, Passionate about the seventh art that pushed her to make production studies in New York film academy. She is heading her own production company, First Poly Production since 2006. She produced four films, series of documentaries and TV shows. Currently she is into two long features for 2020. She is one of the cofounders and director of The International Film Festival of Dakhla.“Tahrir 2011” which she co-directed was officially selected out of competition in Venice International Film Festival 2011 and won the CICT-IFTC award. It was officially selected in Toronto 2011 and Berlin 2012. In 2017-2018 she has created and directed 20 episodes of the wide-spread series ``7th neighbor`` which became a big hit on Egyptian Television.
Eduardo Guillot was born in València, Spain in 1967. He is Artistic Director of Mostra de València-Cinema del Mediterrani film festival. He has worked as a cultural journalist for thirty years in different Spanish specialized magazines. He has collaborated on books dedicated to Emir Kusturica, noir cinema, Stephen King, the relationship between cinema and video games or popular music. Member of the programming team at València Cinematheque for five years. Tutor in Talents Guadalajara in Mexico since 2016. International programming advisor for more than ten years at Abycine (Albacete) and Cinema Jove film festivals.
Shereen Reda is a famed Egyptian actress , who studied fashion design in Los Angeles. Reda began modeling at the age of 11 and thereafter turned to acting when she starred in the popular 1989 television program “Fawazeer Al Fonoon” directed by the late director Fahmy Abd El Hameed. Her second rise to fame came when she starred in two consecutive films with the late actor Ahmed Zaki: “Nazwa” (1996) and “Hassan El Lol” (1997). She took part in several television series for three consecutive years, such as “Without Mentioning Any Names” and “The Plea”. Playing the character of Deja, the mysterious tattoo artist, Shereen returned to the silver screen in the film “The Blue Elephant” (2014), which was one of the most successful films of that year in Egypt. However in 2015, she surprised everyone with her powerful and deep performance in the film “Out of Order” which won her the Best Actress award at the 42nd Egyptian Cinema Film Association Festival and the Egyptian National Film Festival, as well as a Special Jury Prize at the Oran International Arabic Film Festival. Her role in “Photocopy” won her the Best Actress in a Leading Role award at the Egyptian Cinema Film Association Festival and the Best Actress Award at the Arabian Cinema Award.