Thursday 18 April 2024
11:43 AM |

FIFF 2019 Jury Members

FIFF 2019 Jury Members

Fajr International Film Festival has announced the jury members of the 37th edition.

On Tuesday, April 16, Director of Fajr International Film Festival Reza Mirkarimi had a presser in which he announced the jury members of the 37th edition.

He outlined all the outstanding films in different sections of this year and added that over the nine days of the festival, films from a variety of genres will be shown and judged by Iranian and international juries in several sections.

This year’s jury members are A-list filmmakers, writers, university scholars, festival organisers, actors, producers, critics and researchers from Iran and across the globe. Some of them have won awards and many are jury members in other international film festivals as well.

Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai, Oscar-winning Dutch director and screenwriter Mike van Diem, Turkish actor and director Muzaffer Özdemir, and Iranian actor Navid Mohammadzadeh, are among those to decide winners of International Competition (Cinema Salvation) section.

Rounding out the International Competition jury are Macedonian actress Labina Mitevska, German film director Peter Fleischmann, and Iranian director and screenwriter Narges Abyar.

Members of the Jury for the Eastern Vista (Panorama of Films from Asian & Islamic Countries) are Iranian director Khosro Masoumi, Georgian director Rusudan Glurjidze, and Syrian producer Rehab Ayoub.

Interfaith Award Jury will include Iranian writer and researcher Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Navab, Portuguese director and producer Inês Mendes Gil, and Irish writer, director and producer Douglas P. Fahleson.

NETPAC Jury is made up of Indian writer, editor and translator Latika Padgaonkar, Iranian producer Seyyed Gholamreza Mousavi, and Pakistani writer and film critic Aijaz Gul.

Iranian actor and director Behrouz Shoeibi, Lebanese screenwriter and director Ghassan Salhab, and Iraqi film critic and editor Ammar Hadi Al-Arady, will select winner of the Best First Film Award.

International Critics Jury is comprised of Tajik film critic and director Sadullo Rakhimov, Iranian writer, film critic and director Robert Safarian, and German journalist and film critic Barbara Lorey.


International Competition (Cinema Salvation)

Wang Xiaoshuai

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 remain 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 takes 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 Un Certain 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.

Mike van Diem

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. 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.

Muzaffer Özdemir

He was born in Gümüşhane in 1955. He graduated at the Department of Geological Engineering, Istanbul Technical University and worked as a contractor at restorations of historical buildings. Acted in three Nuri Bilge Ceylan films: The Small Town (1997), Clouds of May (1999) and Distant (2002). Won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 for his performance in Distant. Wrote and directed his first feature Home in 2011. His other performances as an actor include Black and White (2010), Ho,e (2011) and Smell of Money (2018).

Navid Mohammadzadeh

He is a theatre and cinema actor, born in 1988, Ilam, Iran. Won numerous prestige acting awards such as best actor from Venice Film Festival (Orizzont Section) and Asia Pacific Award. 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. Was nominated for best actor award of Fajr Film Festival and 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 FFF. Won his first international award for 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. Latest international award was for his role in Sheeple (2018) from Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. He has two nominations from Fajr National Film Festival for starring in 6.5 Per Meter (2019) and The Warden (2019).

Labina Mitevska

She started her acting career as a teenager in 1993, playing Zamira in Milcho Mancevski’s Golden Lion awarded Before the Rain. In 1996 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 animation Edna, directed by Vuk, and the new film of Teona, God exists. Her Name Is Petrunija will have premiere 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 masters 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 also a member of the European Film Academy.

Peter Fleischmann

He was born in 1937, Zweibrücken. After studying cinema in Munich (DIFF) and Paris (IDHEC), Fleischmann directed short 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 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.

Narges Abyar

Narges Abyar, author, film director and screenwriter was born in 1970, Yazd, Iran. Abyar graduated in Persian literature and is among 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 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. Her third feature, Breath, was selected as Iran’s entry for best foreign-language film at the Oscars and won the best director award of 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) received 6 Crystal Simorgh from Fajr National Film Festival in 2019 including best film and best director

Eastern Vista (Panorama of Films from Asian & Islamic Countries)

Khosro Masoumi

Born in 1955 Behshahr, he graduated 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, USLA and Delhi Film Festival (Tradition of Killing Lovers, 2004). Somewhere Far Away (2006) won the best director award of 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, China, and won the best film award, was nominated for best film and best director at Asia Pacific Awards 2012. Bear also screened in Antalya and Oslo Film Festival. Masoumi served as a jury member in Shanghai Film Festival (2013).

Rusudan Glurjidze

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 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 entry for 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…

Rehab Ayoub

She 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 subject to controversy depicting the modern Syrian war and capturing the complexity of its struggles.

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 lives in Lebanon and is the art director in several projects.

Interfaith Award Jury

Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Navab

Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Navab, born in 1981, 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; holds a PhD of Philosophy of Art from Allameh Tabataba’i University. He pursues a philosophical approach to art in his studies and is a lecturer in philosophical issues of art. He 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 Architecture Committee of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. He has been working as the head of Islamic School of Art since 2009 and is a member of the board of directors of Niavaran Cultural Center. He is a member of the Department of Jurisprudence and Art at the Iranian Academy of Arts, a member of the Board of Directors of the Contemporary Art Museum of Tehran, and a member of the European Society for Aesthetics. Navab has numerous publications and translations, including on art and moral education, 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 in prestigious scientific journals.

Inês Gil

Inês Mendes Gil (born in 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. Terre Promise is her latest film, a short fiction which interprets the myth of relationship between Narcissus and Echo. She regularly participates in SIGNIS and Ecumenical Juries around the world.

Douglas Fahleson

Douglas P. Fahleson (born in Ireland) is a writer, director and producer. He has served on various SIGNIS and Ecumenical juries at international film festivals.  He is 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 volunteered at the The Radharc Trust 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 in 2018.


Latika Padgaonkar

She is a columnist, editor of several books, translator, former co-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 organises small film festivals at the National Film Archive of India. She has organised 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.

Seyyed Gholamreza Mousavi

He was born in 1951 Torbat Jam, Iran. He was still in college when started working as a journalist in Kayhan newspaper and directed some short films. In 1973 he founded Mazandaran Free Cinema and continued working with Kayhan after graduation as a journalist and film critic. After the revolution, Mousavi became a producer. He was one of the leading figures of Film Producers Guild of Iran and has been a member of the board. He is known for producing The Finish Line (1985) directed by Ali Talebi and Red (1998) directed by Fereydoun Jeyrani which was competed in festivals including Moscow, Boston, Munich and Nantes Three Continents. He has produced more than 38 feature films.. He was the editor-in-chief of Cinema and Cinema Jahan Monthly Magazine. 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 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.

Aijaz Gul

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 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, and Tokyo.

First Film Jury

Behrouz Shoeibi

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) 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 worked with well-known directors Ebrahim Hatamikia and Homayoun Asadian.

He has worked with 35th Fair film festival as a jury in advertisement section and at the 37th Fajr International Film Festival served as a member of the selection committee.

Ghassan Salhab

Ghassan Salhab was 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 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. 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 published articles in various magazines, and a book, Fragments du Livre du Naufrage.

Ammar Hadi Al-Arady

He 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 festivals 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.

International Critics Jury

Sadullo Rakhimov

He was born in 1951 in Bukhara, Tajikistan. He graduated from the Tajik National University, the faculty of Russian Philology.

He is a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Tajikistan and a member of Confederation of Unions of Cinematographers of the Commonwealth of Independent Countries and Baltica States. For more than 10 years was in charge of the Tajikfilm Cinema Studio. In 1997-1998 worked as a deputy Chairman of the Committee on Television and Radio in the Republic of Tajikistan. Since 1999 he has been working for the Institute of Philosophy, Political Science and Law of the Academy of Sciences in the Republic of Tajikistan.

He is the author of many documentaries, as well as books and brochures, including: The Ray of Screen (2004), from the history of aesthetic views of the Tajik people (2005), Aesthetics of Zoroastrianism (2006), Tajikistan Cinema Encyclopedia (2012). His articles are published in encyclopedic editions, scientific collections and periodical editions in Tajikistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, France, Great Britain, and South Korea. He is the art director of the International Film Festival Didor-Dushanbe.

Robert Safarian

Born in 1954, Tehran, studied cinema in the School of Television and Cinema and graduated in 1974. He has studied Persian literature with a degree in 1995. Safarian made a number of documentaries, such as Inversion (2006), Conversation with Revolution (2011), Between Two Migrations (2013) and A Dialogue (2018). He is a writer and translator with his work on documentary filmmaking, Interview in Documentary published in 2010. Translated many essays and books, all about cinema and film theory. Some of his works are Semiotics of Cinema (Christin Metz), Film History: An Introduction (David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson) and Robin Wood Reviews. He has published works on Abbas Kiarostami’s Cinema and Sergei Parajanov. Others include 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 the head of the documentary department of Khanesh Culture and Art Institute.

Barbara Lorey

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 has been 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. 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 art-house cinemas. She is the art director of the East-West Festival in Orenburg/Russia, and has served on numerous festival juries around the world, such as Venice, Cannes, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Istanbul, Cairo and Cartagena. She’s a member of the European Film Academy.

Presided over by award-winning writer and director Seyyed Reza Mirkarimi, the 37th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will be held in Tehran on April 18-26. For further information, please visit our website, or send us an email at We ask you to carefully read the Festival’s general guidelines for submission and participation.

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