14th IFFK Jury

International Jury

Bahman Ghobadi
(Chairperson) :

Started his career in the field of Industrial photography, BahmanGhobadi soon started making 8mm short films and
documentaries before moving on to make A Time for Drunken Horses (1999), the first Kurdish full-feature film in the history of Iranian cinema. His shorts had begun their worldwide journey by the mid 1990’s, winning accolades at international and domestic arenas. The pioneer Kurdish director from Iran began making features after Life in Fog which is touted as “the most famous documentary ever made in the history of Iranian cinema.” Marooned in Iraq (2002), Daf (2003), Turtles CanFly (2004) and Half Moon ( 2006) ensued his feature debut and were shown at major world film festivals. His latest film Nobody knows About the Persian Cats won the Special JuryPrize -Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2009.

Born to a Kurdish family in Baneh, a city near the Iran-Iraq border in the province of Kurdistan, Iran, his family had to move to Sanandaj, the centre of Kurdistan Province in Iran,thanks to civil disputes. Ghobadi shifted to Tehran in 1992 where he studied BA in Film Directing from the Iranian Broadcasting College.

Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda:

Poet, professor, novelist, screenwriter and producer, Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda is an internationally admired Congolese director. He studied sociology, history and philosophy in Brussels, Belgium. He was trained in cinema in France, United Kingdom and United States. As a writer and a poet, he signed some analysis on the African Cinema. A well known film critic on African cinema, Balufu Bakupa has written extensively on the representation of Blacks in western cinema and television.
His best-known films, The Draughtsmen Clash, Article 15A, Afro@digital and Juju Factory have all won prestigious awards at major festivals.

Mamta Shanker:

Mamata Shankar is an accomplished dancer, choreographer and actress. She had her basic training in Bharatanatyam, Manipuri and Kathakali apart from Uday Shankar style of dance at the Uday Shankar India Culture Centre in Calcutta under the guidance of her mother Amala Shankar. Inheriting a rare sense of choreography from her father and following his footsteps, Mamata started Mamata Shankar Ballet Troupe in 1978 and ‘Udayan’- the Ballet training centre in 1986 in Calcutta. As an actor she has worked with all the major directors of Bengali cinema including Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Budhadev Dasgupta, Gautam Ghosh and Rituporno Ghosh

Prassana Vithanarge:

Prasanna Vithanage’s opus of five previous films has made him one of Sri Lanka’s leading filmmakers with a worldwide critical and popular reputation. He began his career in the 1980’s as a theatre director before setting out as a filmmaker in 1992. Vithanage also devotes time and effort to educate and train young people in the art and business of filmmaking. He returned to his theatrical roots in 2006 when he wrote, directed and produced two hugely popular Sinhala one act plays Horu Samaga Heluwen which ran to nearly 150 performances islandwide. He has translated and directed the works of Bernard Shaw and Dario Fo. His films include Ice on fire (1992), Dark night of the soul (1996), Walls Within (1997), Death on a Full Moon Day (1997), August Sun (2003) and Akasa Kusum(2008).

Hala Khalil:

Hala Khalil Graduated in film directing from the Film Academy in Cairo in 1992 after a brief period spent training to become an engineer. She made some short films and documentaries, including: Ahbabac Ashra (2000), Jamal al-Thaoura (1999) and Hillopolis (2002). She has also made a TV-series titled Shabab Online. Her award winning short film The Kite participated in many festivals, winning international acclaim. Her critically acclaimed feature debut came in 2004, with The Best of Times which marked the new wave of social drama in Egyptian cinema.


Renhua Na:

Renhua Na is a well known actress born in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia started her acting career at the age of 13. In 1978 she joined the city of Song Dance Troupe as a dancer and next year she rose in to fame with her first lead role at the age of 19. After graduating from Beijing Film Academy, she joined there as a teacher. In 1989 she joined the British Film Institute to study direction. Renhua Na returned home to film a documentary Nomad on the grassland nomadic life of Mongolia. She won Golden Phoenix Award for her
performance in A Girl from Hunan (1986) and Heavenly Grassland(2002). Season of the Horse (2005) and A Mongolian Tale (1995) are her other films.

Fatemeh Motamedarya:

A Puppet Theatre enthusiast in her teens, Fatemeh Motamed Arya, emerged as one of the most celebrated actresses of Post-revolutionary Iranian cinema to win nine best actress nominations at the Fajr International Film Festival and lifting the Crystal Simorgh four times. She began her acting career with Tohfeha in 1984. Her important films include Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Nassereddin Shah, Actor-e Cinema (1992) and Honarpisheh (1993).


Cheran is a Tamil film director and actor with a reputation for directing and producing culturally strong films. Trained as a mechanist at ITI, Madurai, he always nourished his dream of becoming an actor, inspired by the legendary thespian, Sivaji Ganeshan. He shifted to Chennai, the centre of South Indian cinema in pursuit of his dream and joined as assistant director to K.S. Ravikumar and gradually worked his way up to debut as a director in Bharati Kanamma. He has twice won the National film Awards; one for Autograph (2004) in the Most Entertaining Film category and the other for Vetri Kodi Kattu (2000) in the category of films dealing with social issues. He started his acting career in Solla Marantha Kathai and did lead roles in a number of films including Autograph, Thavamay Thavamirunthan and Aadum Koothu.


Daniela Bisogni:

Daniela Bisogni is an Italian film critic, journalist, screen and television writer. She has been a contributor for over 20 years to the culture and cinema pages of major publications including Variety and the Italian dailies: La Stampa, Il Giornale and Libertà. Over the same period Daniela has worked both on and off screen for the European news channel Euronews and the Italian state television network RAI. She is currently employed in the cultural section of RAI’s second news channel, TG2, where she writes and reports on cinema. Her love for film and exploration of its multiple facets has remained as powerful throughout her career.

H N Narahari Rao:

Author of several books and noted film society activist H.N.Narahari Rao is the Secretary of the Indian chapter of FIPRISCI. He is the Editor and Publisher of FilmFocusIndia.com which is an initiative of a group of India’s leading film critics, film society activists and writers. He is also the artistic director of Bengalooru International Film Festival and the Vice President of the Federation of Film Societies in India.
Ibrahim Ouf Ibrahim Ouf is an Egyptian Film critic who writes for “Al-Gomhouria” daily, “The Cairo” and “El-Anwar”

Hassan Kutty Award :

Saeed Akhtar Mirza:

Saeed Akhtar Mirza is a pioneer of the New Wave, progressive cinema in India. His films, including Arvind Desai ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai? (1980),Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho (1984), Salim Langde pe Mat Ro (1989) and Naseem (1995), have all won major awards including the National Awards for film excellence in India. He also directed the popular TV serials Nukkad (1986) and Intezaar (1988). A graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, he later joined the institute as a teacher. He has lectured widely on Indian cinema at
universities in India and the US. He contributes regularly to Indian newspapers and magazines on current political debates and through film reviews.

Mohan Agashe:

Mohan Agashe is a gifted theatre artist and a winner of the Sangit Natak Academy award. He has acted in art and commercial movies in Marathi, Hindi, and English, under directors like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Gautam Ghosh, Mira Nair, and Jabbar Patel. He also served as director of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Mohan Agashe is also a trained psychiatrist. He started his career as an actor with his brilliantly urbane portrayal of the machinating Nana Phadnavis in Vijay Tendulkar‘s Ghashiram Kotwal. He did this role for over twenty years for Theatre Academy, Pune, of which he was a founder member.

Anjali Menon:

Anjali Menon, a top honours graduate from London Film School, UK, has been working on fiction and non-fiction since 1997. Having worked on various projects in India, in the Middle East and in the UK, Anjali Menon started Little Films in Mumbai in 2006. Her debut film Lucky Red Seeds (2008) received the first Hassan Kutty Memorial Award.