International Jury Members

Jury Member

Ivan Passer


Mr. Ivan Passer (Czech Republic, USA) - Internationally acclaimed Writer and Director. He collaborated as a writer with legendary filmmaker Milos Forman in Oscar nominated films, A loves of a blonde (1965) and Fireman’s blonde (1967). He started directing films and tasted success with his first film Intimate lighting (1965) which won awards at San Sebastian film festival and Montreal film festival. Later on he directed films like Born to win (1971), Cutter’s way (1981) , haunted Summer (1988) - Nominated for Golden Lion at Venice Film festival, The wishing tree (1999) and Nomad: The warrior (2005). In the year 2008,He received Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Already admired for his screenwriting contributions to some of the most celebrated films of the famed Czech New Wave (including Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen’s Ball, cowritten with director Milos Forman), Ivan Passer’s major contribution to the movement came in 1965 with his astonishing directorial debut, Intimate Lighting. The film’s lightness and casual elegance veils a trenchant, sensitive portrait of friendship and provincial life; shot through with compassion, humanity, and a keen sense of the absurd, it perfectly expresses the tone and rhythms of real life. Intimate Lighting exemplifies Passer’s remarkable ability to capture atmosphere and to craft detailed psychological portraits.

After immigrating to the U.S., Passer attempted to retain his unique vision by shooting two films in New York, a city that reminded him of home. Those films, Born to Win and Law and Disorder (both of which Passer also co-wrote) display his characteristic talents: capturing human foibles, unveiling the tragicomic nature of group interactions, and celebrating the ins and outs of close friendships. Friendship is also at the core of the unclassifiable but masterful Cutter’s Way, an early high point of Passer’s American career. Something of a misunderstood sensation upon its 1981 release, the film’s reputation has subsequently been rehabilitated thanks to its unique vision.

Jury Member

Larry Smith

Larry Smith entered the movie business aged 20 at SheppertonStudios outside London,circa 1969. He realised early on that studio life was not for him.The pace and amount of people working in a major studio felt like a factory. Smith moved into the freelance world that coincided with the closure of MGM Studios, which meant more crew were now freelance.

Also, it was the beginning of the end for major studios keeping their own work force. Advertising was in its infancy as were independent movies, but there seemed to be enough work around to keep all of these various departments employed. In the 1970s, he was fortunate to meet Stanley Kubrick when asked to work on Barry Lyndon.This started a long collaboration with Kubrick that was to last over a quarter of a century until his premature death. Smith was the cinematographer on Kubrick’s last film,Eyes Wide Shut. He has shot many varied and interesting films, including a movie that he directed himself (Trafficker). Among his recent credits are Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives and Matthew Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity.

Jury Member

Lordan Zafranovič

Lordan Zafranovic, an acclaimed Yugoslav director, was born in 1944 in Maslinca on the island of Šolta, Croatia. He got a degree in literature and fine arts at Teacher Training College in his hometown of Split. He obtained a degree from Film Academy (FAMU) in Prague in 1971, studying in the class of Academy Award winner Elmar Klas. Zafranovic received a Ph.D. in film directing.

He began his feature filmmaking career with Sunday (1969), and followed it up with films like Passion According to Matthew (1975), Occupation in 26 Pictures (1978), The Fall of Italy (1981), Angel’s Bite (1984), Evening Bells (1986) and Aloa: Festivity of the Whores (1988).

Occupation in 26 Pictures, which Zafranovic co-wrote with Mirko Kovac, is his most important film. It was in Competition at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.

From 1971 onwards, Zafranovic lives and works in Zagreb. In 1991, he left his homeland to finish the film The Decline of the Century (Testament L.Z.). From 1991 until the end of 1994, he lived in Paris. In 1992, he lived in Vienna. From 1995 to 2005 he lived and worked in Prague. For the last five years, he has been working in Zagreb (Croatia), where he made a documentary TV serial about Josip Broz Tito, titled Tito: The Last Witnesses of Heritage.

Jury Member

Nagesh Kukunoor

Director, India

A chemical engineer by profession, Nagesh Kukunoor gave up his lucrative career as an environmental consultant in Atlanta and using his personal savings wrote, produced, acted and directed his immensely successful debut film Hyderabad Blues, which went on to become the largest grossing low budget Indian film in English. Rockford, a coming of age story of any boarding school going kid, his second film also written and directed by him, follows the same style of film making- of telling empathetic stories that are real and every day, as well as entertaining. Bollywood Calling, his third film, stars Om Puri and Naveen Nischol in the lead. This film also had a very successful commercial run in India and other countries with Indian Diaspora.

His next film 3 Deewarein is another ‘genre bender’ on the Indian movie front combining elements of drama and mystery and boasting of an impressive star cast of Naseeruddin Shah and two of India’s biggest Hindi stars Jackie Shroff and Juhi Chawla. The film has been acclaimed critically in India and abroad. It also won the writer-director, Nagesh, a premier Indian award, Film Fare award, in the best original story category. Hyderabad Blues-2: Rearranged Marriage, the fifth film from the director,is a sequel to Hyderabad Blues, a film that started it all. Picking up six years from where it left off, HB2 also casts Nagesh in its lead.

Iqbal, featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad and Shreyas Talpade, is an inspiring story of a deaf mute boy from a small town in rural India who dreams of making it to the Indian cricket team. Released in 2005, the film was a huge box office success and has been included as mandatory reading in many middle school text books. This film won many awards for the director and acting awards for the cast.

Loosely based on a true incident, Nagesh’s next film ‘Dor’, starring ShreyasTalpade and Ayesha Takia, is a story of two women of different worlds coming together. This film received rave reviews, was a runaway success at box office and screened at many international festivals. His latest film Dhanak (Rainbow) is the story of an eight-year old blind boy and his sister and the magical journey they take across the desert state of Rajasthan to get his eyesight back. Among his other films are Bombay to Bangkok,Aashayein and Lakshmi.

Jury Member

Leila Kilani

Born in Morocco, she dreamt of being a clown. She studied Economics in Paris, obtaining a Master's Degree in Mediterranean History and Civilisation, and prepared a thesis at L'École des hautesétudesen sciences sociales.

She shares her time between Paris and Tangiers. She started out making acclaimed documentaries in 2000, including Tangiers, The Burners' Dream ("Tanger, Le rêve des brûleurs", 2002) about candidates for immigration to Europe, ZadMoultaka, Passages (2003), and Our Forbidden Places (2009).

On the Plank (2011), supported by SANAD, was her first feature film and was screened in Directors Fortnight in Cannes in 2011. It was broadcast in France by Epicentre and shown in more than 80 international festivals. LeïlaKilani is working now on the post-production of her second fiction film, Joint Possession.