The committee responsible for organizing the Saudi Film Festival announced the juries assigned to assess feature films, short films, and unproduced scripts partaking in the 8th edition of the festival organized on June 2-9, in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), and the ministry of culture’s Film Commission. The juries include academics and artists from the Gulf, the Arab region, and the world.
According to the organizing committee, the feature film contest jury will be headed by Koutaiba Al-Janabi, an independent Iraqi cinematographer and producer, holding a PhD in cinema in the Arab world; he worked as a producer with MBC, and a documentary maker at the British Opera. He also cinematographed seven feature films, and directed and produced some award-winning short films.
The jury also includes Aisha Kay, Saudi-Canadian actress and writer, and holder of a master’s degree in writing, who played major and supporting roles in short films and series, and a main role in the Canadian feature film “Jasmine Road” (2020), for which she was nominated for three awards, and subsequently joined the Canadian Actors Syndicate.
Member Ahmed Fawzy Saleh is an Egyptian director, professional writer, and digital content supervisor. His documentary film “Living Skin” took part in many international festivals and won several awards. His only feature film “Poisonous Roses”, which was screened at the Rotterdam Festival 2018, and the International Cairo Film Festival, won 17 awards.
The short film jury is chaired by Moroccan-American director and author Hakim Belabbas, who holds a master’s degree in cinema from Columbia University, and wrote and directed many fiction movies and documentaries.
Members include Ilham Al-Ali, a Saudi artist, and holder of a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She studied theater, participated in many series, won several awards in theater and television, and participated in many short and feature films in the Gulf and the world. She moderated the opening night of the Middle East and North Africa Film Festival in Vancouver, Canada in 2021, and received certificates of participation from two acting programs.
Member Ayten Mutlu Saray is a Swiss director, professor of culture and cinema, and director of the ‘Festival De L'Aube’ in Basel, Switzerland. Her works partook in major festivals including Cannes, Rotterdam and Locarno.
The script jury is chaired by Saudi director and screenwriter Abdulmohsen Al-Dabaan, who directed many short films and television series, in addition to the feature film “The Last Visit” in 2019, and participated in many film festivals. The committee includes member Muhammad Al-Harz, a Saudi poet and critic who focuses on the cultural scene in the Kingdom and has several poetry collections and critical studies; and member Dia Youssef an artist, writer, and independent film director. Among her prominent works is the three-award winning movie “Weld Sidra”.