Nacer Khemir was born in 1948 in Korba, Tunisia. Fascinated by the world of tales ever since he was a young boy, today he is a storyteller, writer and director, as well as the author and illustrator of numerous literary works. After being awarded a Unesco scholarship for film studies in Paris, in 1972 he set out to research storytelling in the Arab quarter of Tunis, with the resulting collection of stories serving as the inspiration for his four films about stories and the people who tell them. In 1975 he became part of the storytelling revival in France with his book L’Ogresse (The Giantess). His drawings, sculptures and calligraphy have been exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou (1980) and the Youth Book Fair in Montreuil. In 1982 and 1988 he spent a month telling stories from the Arabian Nights at the Chaillot National Theatre in Paris. Khemir is a man of the desert, like the teacher he plays in his first film, Les Baliseurs du desert. Sometimes directors try to make films about invisible objects: about the wind (Joris Ivens), or love (Michael Curtiz); Khemir has tried to do this with the desert. The desert, love, the wind have no dimensions. Poor human creatures need things that filmmakers are unable to bring to the screen. Yet Khemir gives us an idea of the desert: it is not a void, it is a place without authority, without nationality, endless. It is not necessary for Jesus Christ to spend forty days praying in the desert.
Seçil Büker graduated from Ankara University’s Department of English Language and Literature in 1968. After focusing on applied linguistics and foreign language teaching for a while, she received her doctorate in communication, and mainly focused on film theory and criticism in her works. She became an associate professor in 1987, and a professor in 1993. Büker worked as a lecturer at Anadaolu University’s Faculty of Communication Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Ankara University at various times, and at Gazi University’s Faculty of Communication Sciences from 2000 to 2012. In 2012, she continued her academic career at Gazi University’s Faculty of Fine Arts; lecturing on film theory, film criticism, new trends in film theory, gender, and media at undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate levels.
Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, “Simin” is a multi – award- winning Iranian actress who has over 80 national & international prizes. She started her career in theatre as a teenager and has years of experience in improvised theater performance. She became one of the most distinguished and respected actresses from Iran. In her career Simin has appeared in over 70 films and collaborated with some of the master directors of Iranian cinema such as Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Rakhshan Banietemad. She made her directorial debut by directing a documentary about Iranian ex-president Mohammad Khatami followed by her second directorial attempt with another documentary on the subject 7 powerful women in Asian cinema! She is a professor of cinema and theater at the prestigious university of Isfahan. Among her numerous awards, she won the best actress award from Montreal Film Festival in 2011 and received the prestigious Henry Langlois prize in 2012. She has Served as a Jury member of more than 60 international film festivals, she is Doing Master class & workshop around the world. Motamed-Arya is a funding member of The Performers Society of The Iranian Cinema. She is an ambassador of several charities in Iran and is one of the most admired personalities on the Iranian cultural scene. Fatemeh Motamed-Arya is among 15 international figures whose portraits are on display at a multimedia exhibition titled “ The Transformative Power of Art “ at the UN in New York in 2015.
Intishal Al Timimi, is a well known figure in the international film festival circuit. His entire career has been dedicated to passionately making known around the world, cinematic voices from the Arab world and enabling them to evolve through dialogue with their counterparts whether inside or outside the Arab world. He has pursued his passion through several important positions and associations in the last 30 years. Some of these include: Arab Film Festival, Rotterdam, Artistic Director (2001-2009); Rotterdam International Film Festival, Program Advisor (20042011); Osian’s Cinefan, Festival of Asian, Arab and Indian Cinema, Programmer (2004-2009). He was in the core group of Abu Dhabi Film Festival and served there as, Director of Arab Programming and Director of Sanad Film Fund. Currently he is the director of El Gouna Film Festival/Egypt. Since 1989 Intishal is often invited to International Film Festivals around the world as member of Jury and has served as juror at Parma, Munich, Singapore, Ismailia, Delhi, Santiago de Compostela, Muscat, Tallinn, Guanajuato, and many more, often moderating or speaking on panels related particularly to Arab Cinema. Intishal is on Advisory Board of NETPAC (Network for the Promoting of Asian Cinema), He has served as member and President of the NETPAC Jury in most prestigious festivals such as in Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Kerala, Toronto…
Edvinas Pukšta is a senior programmer of the Vilnius International Film Festival (http:// www.vilniusiff.lt). He is responsible for film scouting, programming, coordinating, scheduling all screenings, writing texts for official catalogue. Edvinas regularly attends 15-17 International film festivals around our beautiful world to see and discover at least 700 feature films (and around 500 shorts) every year. His reviews, articles and festival reports are published in Lithuanian media outlets online and in print. Edvinas is a former member of the Film Board at the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture (2008 – 2012). He usually judges short and feature films as a Jury member in various international film festivals in Cannes, Busan, Berlin, Wroclaw, Cluj-Napoca (Transilvania), Plsen, Bucharest, Tallinn, Minsk and now in Malatya.