Narges Abyar (International Competition Jury)
Narges Abyar, author, film director and screenwriter was born in 1970, Yazd, Iran. Abyar graduated in Persian literature and is among the few female filmmakers who won the Crystal Simorgh of directing from Fajr National Film Festival. She has published a number of short stories and novels over the years which later were adapted into movies such as TRACK 143 (2014) and BREATH (NAFAS, 2015). She began her career as a director with Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear in 2005.
Her second feature film, Track 143 was a successful hit and won numerous awards in national and international film festivals around the world. Her third feature, BREATH was selected as Iran’s submission for best foreign-language film at the Oscars and won the best director award at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and two awards from 34th Fajr National Film Festival including the Golden Simorgh of best film with a National View.
WHEN THE MOON WAS FULL (2018), her latest film received 6 Crystal Simorghs from Fajr National Film Festival in 2019, including Best Film and Best Director.
Peter Fleischmann (International Competition Jury)
Peter Fleischmann was born in 1937, Zweibrücken. After studying cinema in Munich (DIFF) and Paris (IDHEC), Fleischmann directed short films and children’s films. With ALEXANDER AND THE CAR with a MISSING HEADLIGHT, he won prizes in Venice, Tehran and received the German Children Film Award, with HERBST DER GAMMLER, a documentary about generational conflicts in Munich, won a number of awards in Germany and abroad. Fleischmann’s first feature film JAGDSZENEN AUS NIEDERBAYERN (1969) was one of the first international successes of the New German Cinema. In 1969, Fleischmann founded the production company Hallelujah Film with Volker Schlöndorff, which allowed him to produce his second feature film THE MISERY in his own studio.
Fleischmann’s cinema is obsessed with outsiders and the reaction of society, which leads to a reversal of good and evil. His most recent film, MY FRIEND THE MURDERER, is a documentary about the burglar and safecracker called, Bernhard Kimmel. In 1980 he was elected as the president of the European Director’s Association.
Labina Mitevska (International Competition Jury)
She started her acting career as a teenager in 1993, playing Zamira in Milcho Mancevski’s Golden Lion awarded Before the Rain. In 1996 she entered into a successful collaboration with Michael Winterbottom. Following Welcome to Sarajevo they worked together in I Want You. For these accomplishments she was chosen as one of the Shooting Stars at the Berlinale in 1998. Her acting carrier continued around Europe, creating over 30 roles in films shot in Germany, Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, and Slovenia. In 2001, Labina, her sister Teona and their brother Vuk established the production company SISTERS AND BROTHER MITEVSKI. Labina is responsible for the production. All their films How I killed a Saint, I Am from Titov Veles, The woman who brushed off her tears, When the day had no name directed by Teona S. Mitevska are European coproduction, and had extraordinary festival life. In 2016, Sisters and Brother Mitevski co-produced Sieranevada by acclaimed director Cristi Puiu , Cannes Film Festival 2016 and Nightlife by Damjan Kozole, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it won Cristal Globe for Best director.
They are currently in post production of their short drawing animation Edna, animated and directed by Vuk and the new film of Teona, God exists, her name is Petrunija will have premier at the Berlin film festival 2019 – competition program, won two awards and will be widely distributed in 30 countries around the world. Their latest coproduction is the new film of one of the master of world cinema, Bilge Nuri Ceylan The Wild Pear Tree. In 2014 she was chosen to be part of Producers on the Move during Cannes Film Festival, she is EAVE national representative and member of the European Film Academy.
Navid Mohammadzadeh (International Competition Jury)
Born in 1988, Ilam, Iran, Navid Mohammadzadeh is a theatre and cinema actor. He has numerous prestige acting awards such as Best Actor from Venice Film Festival (Orizzonti Section) and Asia Pacific Award of Best Actor. First known for his acting on stage he started his career in the early 2000s and after a successful career in theatre, decided to experience acting in cinema.
Though it was not his first role in cinema, he made a name for himself by starring in I’M NOT ANGRY! (2014) by Reza Dormishian. He was nominated for Best Actor award of Fajr Film Festival for his role and also two years in a row after this nomination for his roles in LIFE & A DAY (2016) and NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE (2017) won the Crystal Simorgh of Fajr National Film Festival. He got his first international award for his role in “Nahid” from Bratislava International Film Festival. He is the winner of Best Actor award of Venice Film Festival, Asia Pacific Award, Las Palmas, Sulaimani International film festival and Bratislava Film Festival for his role in NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE.
His latest international award was for his role in “Sheeple” (2018) from Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. He also has two more nominations from Fajr National Film Festival for starring in 6.5 TOMANE PER METER (2019) and THE WARDEN (2019).
Muzaffer Özdemir (International Competition Jury)
Muzaffer Özdemir Actor, Director, Scriptwriter. He was born in Gümüşhane in 1955. He graduated at the Department of Geological Engineering, Istanbul Technical University. He worked as a contractor at restorations of historical buildings. He acted in three Nuri Bilge Ceylan films: THE SMALL TOWN (1997), CLOUDS OF MAY (1999) and DISTANT (2002).
He won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 for his performance in DISTANT. He wrote and directed his first feature HOME in 2011. His other performances as an actor include BLACK AND WHITE (2010), HOME (2011) and SMELL OF MONEY (2018).
Mike Van Diem (International Competition Jury)
Mike van Diem (1959) is a Dutch Oscar-winning director and screenwriter. He graduated from the Amsterdam Film School in 1989, winning the Student Academy Award for his 45-minute thriller ALASKA.
His first feature length film CHARACTER won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 1998. Next, after taking a 17-year break from feature film making, Mike returned to the screen in 2015, winning several awards for his black romantic comedy THE SURPRISE.
In 2017 he followed up with the comedy drama TULIPANI. This bitter sweet story of a Dutch farmer who endeavors to grow tulips in the sweltering heat of Southern Italy, has won eight International Film festivals so far.
Wang Xiaoshuai (International Competition Jury)
As an auteur director, Wang Xiaoshuai was a pioneering figure in the Chinese independent cinema in the 1990s, and is one of the very few masters who remains true to his art in spite of rampant commercialism in nowadays Chinese film market.
Over his thirty years career, he has directed 13 films, including the documentary CHINESE PORTRAIT (2018), which take the rapid urbanization of China as its background and theoretical predicaments individuals face in everyday life. His latest title SO LONG, MY SON has released in China on March 22th, 2019.
By virtue of strong personal style, deep concern for humanity, and diligent independent filmmaking, Wang’s works have competed in Cannes Film Festival four times (twice in uncertain regard, twice in main competition), twice in the Berlinale, and also at Venice and San Sebastian film festivals. He has been appointed Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture for his artistic accomplishments. His directorial debut, The Days, was held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Wang has received many distinguished honors notably the Grand Jury Prize for Shanghai Dreams (2005) in the Cannes Main Competition and the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Screenplay for In Love We Trust (2008). Red Amnesia (2014) was selected in competition for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, and his latest work So Long, My Son (2019) won 2 Silver Bear for the Best Actor and Actress at the 69th Berlinale.
Rehab Ayoub (Asian Award Jury)
Rehab Ayoub is a dynamic, creative producer who founded and produced several Syrian films including Waiting for the fall (winner 2015), The rain of Homs (2017) and Path of Heaven (2019 still in process). The films are always subjects to controversy depicting the Modern Syrian War and capturing the complexity of its struggles. Adamz production Rehab ‘s company have received international acclaim, winning Best Arabic Film at The Cairo Film Festival and detaining several titles in several festivals.
Rehab graduated from the university of Lattakia in the field of accounting and marketing yet she deviated from that field to the world of production and cinema almost immediately since it was there where she found her passion. Rehab is recently located in Lebanon, she became the artistic director in several projects.
Rusudan Glurjidze (Asian Award Jury)
Rusudan Glurjidze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She graduated in French Language and Literature from the Tbilisi State University and from 1990 to 1996 studied Film Directing and Screenwriting at Giorgi Shengelaia’s class at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University. After 1996, Glurjidze worked in advertising and at the Georgian Public Broadcaster, making musical and commercial clips. Since 2007, she has been working as a producer and art director of Cinetech Film Production Company. Directed by Rusudan Glurjidze, the feature film The House of Others is a co-production between Georgia, Russia, Spain and Croatia. The story is set in the 1990s, after a civil war, when two families on the winning side are relocated to the hastily vacated houses of the defeated. However, they don’t seem to be able to build a new, peaceful life, as the scars of the war continue to rage within them.
The film is the director’s first feature, and was screened in the East of the West competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, taking home the Grand Prix. The House of Others also won numerous awards and nominations and was Georgia’s candidate in the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Rusudan was jury member at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2017 and Eurasia international film Festival 2017.
Khosro Masoumi (Asian Award Jury)
Born in 1955 Behshahr, Khosro Masoumi is an Iranian director. He graduated in cinema from Cinema and TV school of Dramatic Arts University of Tehran. He is an award-winning director whose works have been presented in numerous national and international film festivals, such as Pesaro Film Festival, Prague Film Festival Delhi Film Festival (Leaden Times, 1986); Shanghai Film Festival (Best feature film award), Moscow Film Festival, Denver and USLA (Tradition of Killing Lovers, 2004).
SOMEWHERE FAR AWAY (2006) won the best director award at Cairo Film Festival. Wind BLOWS ON THE MEADOW (2008), won two awards, Best Film at Fajr International Film Festival and Best Director of Pyongyang Film Festival. BEAR (2012) was presented in Shanghai Film Festival and won the Best Film award and was nominated for Best Film and Best Director at Asia Pacific awards 2012. BEAR has also screened in Antalya and Oslo film festival. Masoumi served as a jury member in Shanghai Film Festival in 2013 and he was also praised at the festival for his two major awards.
Douglas Fahleson (Interfaith Award Jury)
Douglas Fahleson is a writer, director and producer. He has served on various SIGNIS and Ecumenical juries at international film festivals for the past decade. He is also a film critic and has helped to organize a number of film evenings at local parishes throughout the Dublin region whereby faith and art are discussed in detail.
He has also volunteered at the The Radharc Trust in order to help preserve Radharc’s historically significant film library, a collection of more than 400 television documentaries which aired on Ireland’s RTE network in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.
He has been a SIGNIS Europe delegate since 2013 and was instrumental in helping to organize the recent global SIGNIS TV Seminar 2018, which took place in Dublin, Ireland in September of 2018.
Inês Gil (Interfaith Award Jury)
Inês Gil (Portugal) teaches film at Lusófona University in Lisbon. She published her PHD thesis in 2005, on “Cinematographic Atmosphere“. She produces documentaries and video installations, often related to spirituality and the sacred. “Terre Promise“ is her latest film, a short fiction film which interprets the myth of the relationship between Narcissus and Echo. She regularly participates in SIGNIS and Ecumenical Juries around the world.
Mohammad Hossein Navab (Interfaith Award Jury)
Born in 1981, Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Navab, is a faculty member of the University of Religions and Denominations, head of the Education in Arts and Islamic Studies Institute and director of the Islamic Arts Academy, He holds a PhD of Philosophy of Art from Allameh Tabatabai University. He pursues a philosophical approach to art in his studies and also is a lecturer in philosophical issues of art. He also studied in Leiden, Netherlands, and in 2015 took the course of Building on Interfaith Community in Geneva. He has been the head of art committee and a member of Art and Arcitecture committee of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. He has also been working as the head of Islamic School of Art, since 2009 and is also a member of the board of directors of Niavaran Cultural Center. He is also a member of the Department of Jurisprudence and Art at the Iranian Academy of Arts and a member of the Board of Directors of the Contemporary Art Museum of Tehran, and also a member of the The European Society for Aesthetics. Dr. Navab has numerous publications and translations, including his works on art and moral education, the collection of articles on the jurisprudence of art, including translations of “Art and Religious Experience” by David Martin. Navab has published numerous articles on the philosophy of art, often published in prestigious scientific journals. He also works on many research projects, including the role of art in reducing social impairments, analyzing the supportive systems of countries in the field of art, developing a document on the connection of art and state.
Aijaz Gul (NETPAC Jury)
Earned BA and MA in Film Studies (Cinema) from USC (University of Southern California) Los Angeles. Published four books on cinema, latest one titled Journey Through Lens-Pakistani Cinema published in 2018. Worked at State Film Authority, National Film Development Corporation and Film Division in Pakistan National Council of Arts.
Visiting faculty in Film Studies at Riphah University, SAZABIST University and NICS, he is a core Member of Mandwa Film Club at Lok Virsa. As a member of NETPAC and FIPRESCI, attended over thirty international film festivals both as jury chairman and jury member in Vesoul, Manila, Yamagata,Busan,Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, Moscow, Tokyo etc.
Gholamreza Mousavi (NETPAC Jury)
Seyed Gholamreza Mousavi was born in 1951 Torbat Jam, Iran. He was still in college when he started working as a journalist in Keyhan newspaper and directed some short films as his first steps in the cinema industry. In 1973 he founded Mazandaran Free Cinema and continued working with Keyhan after graduation as a journalist and film critic. After the revolution, Mousavi became active as a producer.
He was one of the leading figures of Film Producers Guild of Iran and has been a member of the board for a long time. He is known for producing THE FINISH LINE (1985) directed by Ali Talebi and RED (1998) directed by Fereydoun Jeyrani which was presented in numerous film festivals including Moscow, Boston, Munich and Nantes Three Continents. He has produced more than 38 feature films in his career over these years. He was also the editor-in-chief of Cinema and Cinema Jahan Monthly Magazines. Currently, he is the chairman of Independent Producers Association, member of the Executive Council of Film Producers Guild and a board member of Academy of Cinema Science and Technology. He has also been selected as a member of the board of Iran’s House of Cinema and a jury member of the Annual Award of Iran’s House of Cinema.
Latika Padgaonkar (NETPAC Jury)
Latika Padgaonkar is a columnist, editor of several books, translator, former Joint Director, Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival, and former Executive Editor, Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly. She wrote a regular column for The Sunday Times of India from Paris in the 80s, and was later the Paris correspondent of the daily newspaper The Telegraph, published in Kolkata. A member of the Media Foundation, she also did a two-year spell with the National Commission for Women’s Media Group. Currently, she writes extensively on films and books in newspapers and on websites.
A PhD from the University of Sorbonne, Paris, she taught French and English at Fergusson College, Pune (1968-69), and French at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1975-1978). She is a member of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (India), and a member of FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique). She has been on the jury of several national and international film festivals as well as on the jury of the National Film Awards in 2012. Currently, as a member of the Pune International Centre, she organized small film festivals at the National Film Archive of India. She has organized 12 so far (Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Israel, Shakespeare, Mahabharata and 3 Buddhist).
Latika Padgaonkar has co-edited – among other books – Being and Becoming: The Cinemas of Asia, An Asian Film Journey and Kenji Mizogchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema.
Ammar .Hadi Al – Arady (First Film Jury)
Ammar .Hadi Al – Arady has a B.A, M.A and ph.D in Cinema from Fine Arts College Baghdad University. He is the Head of Cinema department at Institute of fine arts and Instructor of Directing and Scenario at Fine Institute. He has also been an Assist Dean for Administrative Affairs in 2004 at Art college. Al Aradi has worked as a supervisor of a dozen of short and features films and is also a well-known film Critic and editor at film world Magazine. A member of Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, Al Arady is one of the members of Conference of Intellectuals in Iraq’s cultural Ministry and works in this ministry as the chairman of the film creativity Committee. He has worked with several film festival inside and outside of his hometown since he is the director of the Baghdad International Festival. Al Arady has been a participant in the Independent Documentary Film Festival Tehran and the Fajr International Film Festival.
Ghassan Salhab (First Film Jury)
Born in Dakar, Senegal. In addition to making his own films, he collaborates on various scenarios and teaches film in Lebanon. He has directed seven feature films: Beyrouth Fantôme, Terra Incognita, The Last Man, 1958, The Mountain, The Valley and An open Rose / Warda… all films have been selected in various international film festivals — in addition to numerous “essays”, and different “video works”, including (Posthumous), Chinese ink, Son Image, and Le voyage immobile, with Mohamed Soueid…. In 2016, he was a DAAD (Berlin) guest-resident. La Rochelle International Film Festival, JC Carthage and La Cinémathèque du Québec made a tribute to his work… He has also published different texts and articles in various magazines, and a book, “fragments du Livre du naufrage”.
Behrouz Shoeibi (First Film Jury)
Behrouz Shoeibi, born in 1979, Mashhad, is an Iranian actor and director. He made a name for himself as a director with his feature debut Corridor in 2012 which was nominated in 10 categories and won the crystal simorgh of best film (New Vision) and best actress from Fajr national film festival. Potassium Cyanide (2016) and Axing (2018) are his other works which both were equally well-received as his debut. Axing was nominated in 9 categories in Fajr National Film Festival and won two acting awards. As an actor, Shoeibe has also worked with well-known directors such as Ebrahim Hatamikia and Homayoun Asadian. He has worked with 35th Fair film festival as a jury in advertisement section and at the 37th Fajr film festival served as a member of the selection committee.
Barbara Lorey (International Critics Jury)
Barbara Lorey De Lacharriere is an independent journalist, film-critic and curator based in Paris. Born in former East Germany, she studied theater in Munich, social sciences in Hamburg and Paris, and holds Masters Degrees in Clinical Psychology and Sociology. Since 1987, she becomes a cultural correspondent and film journalist for various German and Swiss daily newspapers and magazines, such as Die Welt, Tageszeitung, epd Film and Neue Zürcher Zeitung and continues to contribute to several film magazines. A member of FIPRESCI, she is the director of department in charge of the Fipresci Award Series and a film curator and advisor for a wide range of international film festivals and arthouse cinemas. BLdL is also the Artistic Director of the East-West Festival in Orenburg/ Russia. She has served on numerous festival juries around the world, such as Venice, Cannes, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Istanbul, Cairo and Cartagena to Barbara Lorey name a few. She’s a member of the European Film Academy.
Robert Safarian (International Critics Jury)
Born in 1954, Tehran, Robert Safarian studied cinema in the School of Television and Cinema and graduated in 1974. He also has studied Persian Literature and got his degree in 1995. Safarian has made a number of documentaries, such as, INVERSION (2006), CONVERSATION WITH REVOLUTION (2011), BETWEEN TWO MIGRATIONS (2013) and A DIALOGUE (2018). He is also a well-known writer and translator and one of his works on documentary filmmaking, were published in 2010. Safarian has translated many essays and books over the course of his career, all engaging with cinema and film theory. Some of his works as a translator are Semiotics of Cinema (Christin Metz), Film History: An Introduction (David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson) and Robin Wood Reviews. He has published a deep focus on Abbas Kiarostami’s Cinema and on Sergei Parajanov. He has also published a collection of short stories called, Two Floor Street, Sanaei St. He was the editor-in-chief of bilingual magazine, Hovis (Persian-Armenian) for eight years and has published a translation of Azad Matian, an armenian poet’s work into persian. He is currently running the documentary department of Khanesh Culture and Art Institute.