Actor Irrfan Khan will lead the top Narrative Feature Competition Jury at upcoming 8th edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Assisting him will be Algerian novelist and academic Waciny Laredj, award-winning English writer-director Steven Shainberg, Australian movie helmer Cate Shortland and internationally renowned award-winning Palestinian actor Ali Suleiman.
Khan has been a regular at Abu Dhabi. His Paan Singh Tomar (helmed by Tigmanshu Dhulia) premiered at the festival in 2010 to critical acclaim. However, the film remained in the cans for over two years before it hit Indian screens - winning laurels for Khan and Dhulia.
Last year, Khan was back in Abu Dhabi with Anup Singh's Qissa, whose leading lady, Tillotama Shome, won the Best Actress Award. Despite a riveting performance, Khan - also now internationally celebrated - did not catch the jury's eye.
Singh returns to Abu Dhabi this year as a juror on the New Horizons Jury, which is chaired by Paris-based movie producer Catherine Dussart. The other members are Syrian actor Bassel Al Khayat, Moroccan filmmaker Leila Kilani, and well-known cinema critic and Director of the Cannes Critics' Week Charles Tesson.
Heading the Documentary Features Jury is Brooklyn-based director and cinematographer Christina Voros. She will have with her Moroccan moviemaker Daoud Aoulad Syad, documentary maker Elyes Baccar from Tunisia, US-Egyptian cinematographer Sherief Elkatsha and video artist and documentary moviemaker Amar Kanwar, from India.
The festival will run from October 23 to November 1.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will cover the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for HT this year.)