International jury of the main competition
WANG Xiaoshuai (China)
Director, scriptwriter and producer
Born in 1966. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989, WANG wrote and directed his first feature film. “The Days” (1993). The film won the Golden Alexandra Prize in Thessaloniki and is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Over his twenty years film career, he has directed 11 films. WANG has been selected eight times to the main competition in the “Big Three” film festivals, whereby “Beijing Bicycle” won the Grand Jury Silver Bear at the 2001 Berlin IFF, and “Shanghai Dreams” won the Jury Prize at the 2005 Cannes IFF.
Amir Esfandiari (Iran)
Born in 1957 in Tehran, Amir Esfandiari is a graduate of Business Management from Massachusetts Northeastern University. He worked on a number of co-production film projects such as Ron Fricke's BARAKA. In 1993, he started his collaboration with Farabi Cinema Foundation (FCF) as chief executive of Co-production Department and from 1997 to 2018 was active as Head of International Affairs. He has also served as a jury member in a number of different international film festivals. He is also Chairperson of Iranian Selection Committee of Best Film for Academy of Motion Pictures, founder of Iran’s Cinema Umbrella in International Film Markets, member of Board of Directors of Asia- Pacific Film Festival.
Gabriella Cristiani (Italy)
Gabriella Cristiani began her career as a singer and actress, before turning her focus to film editing, which culminated in a longtime collaboration with Bernardo Bertolucci. Academy Award Winner Gabriella Cristiani has been part of the film industry for decades. In between film productions, Gabriella is also a keen contributor to academia, sharing her passion and knowledge at UCLA, where she has been regent, but also around the world, having offered her vision through Masterclasses in Cambridge University, Mass Communications in Chiang Mai University, Australia (AFTRS), as well as occasionally finding the availability to provide selected, private sessions for students or young professionals.
Yermek Tursunov (Kazakhstan)
Yermek Tursunov was born on July 20, 1961. He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of Kazakh National University in 1984, then the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors in Moscow in 1990. In 2008 he began his career as a film director making the first part of film trilogy “Kelin”. The film was selected for Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film Category from Kazakhstan and was included in the short-list. In 2012 the film “Shal/The Old Man”, based on the story of Hemingway, was released. The film won the Grand-Prix at the “Kinoshok-2013”, and the actor Erbolat Toguzakov won the award for the Best Actor. In 2015 the film “Kenzhe”, the final part of his trilogy, was premiered. In 2018 Yermek Tursunov was elected Chairman of the Board of the Union of Cinematographers of Kazakhstan.
Peter Scarlet (USA)
Film festivals organizer and programmer
One of the most respected film festival organizers and programmers on the international scene, Peter Scarlet was at the helm of the San Francisco International Film Festival from 1983 to 2001. Since then, he has served as Director General of the Cinémathèque Francaise, and was in charge of the Tribeca Film Festival, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Mar del Plata International Film Festival. Named an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by France’s Minister of Culture, he has served on film festival juries around the world, and is currently at work on a memoir.
International jury of the short meter contest
Semih Kaplanoğlu (Turkey)
Semih Kaplanoğlu is one of the most acclaimed writer-director-producers of contemporary filmmaking in Turkey. He received a BS in Cinema-Television from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dokuz Eylül University. Kaplanoğlu made his debut feature “Away From Home” in 2001. In 2005, his second feature “Angel’s Fall” received Best Film Awards in Nantes, Kerala and Barcelona Alternativa FF. His third feature "Egg" premiered in the Quinzaine des Realisateurs at Cannes. In 2008 “Milk” screened in the main competition at Venice IFF. His film "Honey" won the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlinale. His latest film "Grain" has won the Tokyo IFF's Grand Prix.
Hiro Narita (USA)
Hiro Narita, American cinematographer. Entered the film industry after working as a graphic designer and photographer. He is known for his work on Star Trek 6, Tales from the Crypt, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and many others. National Society of Film Critics Award winner for Best Cinematography, Awards for Best Cinematography at Boston International Film Festival. 'Emmy' Awards' triple nominee. A member of American Society of Cinematographers and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Milos Bikovic (Serbia)
Milos Bikovic was born on January 13, 1988, in Belgrade. He graduated from the University of Arts in Belgrade, faculty of dramatic arts. He received the Serbian Film Award for Best Actor in the film “Montevideo, Bog te video!” at the Film Festival in Niš in 2011. In 2013 he received the Croatian Theatre Award “Marul” for Best Actor. Except film acting, Milos also plays in the Belgrade National Theatre.
Samal Yeslyamova (Kazakhstan)
Samal Yeslyamova was born on September 1, 1984, in Petropavlovsk, North Kazakhstan. She graduated the acting group of directing department from the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in 2011. In 2008, during her studies, she played in the film by Sergey Dvortsevoy “Tulip”. The film received the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival. 10 years later the actress won the Best Female Actress award at the 71st Cannes Film Festival for her role in “Ayka” directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy. Samal Yeslyamova is the first actress from post-Soviet countries who won the Best Female Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Jeremy Chua (Singapore)
Jeremy Chua is a Singaporean arts programmer and filmmaker based between Singapore and Paris. He began as a programming assistant at local art space The Substation and subsequently worked on film exhibition projects with the Cinémathèque at the National Museum of Singapore. In 2012, he started his long-term collaboration with Fran Borgia at Akanga Film Asia and wrote K. Rajagopal’s first feature, A Yellow Bird, as well as several award winning television documentaries. Since 2014, he started his own company, Potocol, which has co-produced A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery by Lav Diaz (Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, Berlinale)
Ahmed Shawky (Egypt)
Egyptian film critic, programmer and script supervisor, Writes constantly since 2009. He published five books about Egyptian cinema. He was the chief programmer of Ismailia international festival for documentaries and short. He is currently the assistant artistic director of Cairo IFF and also the secretary general of Egyptian film critics association.
Amy Nicholson (USA)
A film writer and critic
Amy Nicholson is a film writer and critic for Variety, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, and the host of the movie podcasts "The Canon" and "Unspooled." Formerly, she was the chief film critic for the MTV News and LA Weekly. Her first book, Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor, was published by Cahiers du Cinema.
Inna Smailova (Kazakhstan)
Art History PhD, film critic
Inna Smailova was born on June 21, 1973 in Temirtau. She worked in the magazine “Eurasia-cinema” as an assistant editor, in the magazines “Kinoman”, “The Territory of Cinema” – as a reviewer. She is the author of the book “A debate of the film critic with the film meaner about the style and film language in Kazakh feature films”. She is a member of the Association of Film Critics of Kazakhstan. A co-founder of the web-site Vosmerka.kz, as well as the founder of the Student Film Award “KinostArt”.
Bina Paul (India)
Bina Paul started her career as editor for the ground breaking Malayalam feature film Amma Ariyan. She has worked in more than 50 films and won National Film Awards for Best Editing twice for Mitr My Friend and Unni. She has also won numerous State Awards. She is currently Vice Chairperson & Artistic Director of international Film Festival of Kerala, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy & co Vice President of NETPAC.
Anne Démy-Geroe (Australia)
Dr Anne Démy-Geroe is a film curator and scholar specializing in Asian cinema, also a lecturer at Griffith Film School, Griffith University, on Asia Pacific Cinema. She is an inaugural member of the Nominations Council for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, a Vice President of NETPAC, the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema, and a Co-Director - APSL - Asia Pacific Screen Lab, NETPAC.
Kanat Torebay (Kazakhstan)
KanatTorebay was born on 24 April, 1971, in Kentau. He graduated from Kazakh National University (physics) and Higher School of Law and International Relations (international law). He is a graduate of the Prague Film School, member of the Union of journalists and Cinematographers of the Republic of Kazakhstan. From 2003 to 2008 he worked at Kazakhfilm as a director and executive producer. His filmopgraphy consists more than 15 films («The House at the Salt Lake», «Mustafa Shokai», «Day Watch», «Kelin», «Zhat/Stranger», etc).