Jim Sheridan will head the jury for the major film prize at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). The acclaimed Irish director will lead the panel for the Muhr Arab Feature Competition as part of the festival’s 10th edition. Sheridan said he is “delighted” to be picked for the role.
“The Middle East has a deep-rooted appreciation for the arts, and the Arab cinema industry continues to thrive, revealing hidden gems and previously untold stories,” he said. “Productions from the Arab world have captivated audiences worldwide in recent years and I am delighted to be on the Muhr Arab Feature jury. I am confident that it will be an enriching and fulfilling experience.”
Since launching his career in 1989 with his debut feature My Left Foot, Sheridan has directed a string of powerful films, largely dealing with the Irish living in the margins of society. His 1993 feature In the Name of the Father, based on the falsely charged Guildford Four received seven Academy Award nominations, while The Boxer follows the struggles of a former IRA fighter trying to live a quiet life after being released from jail.
In 2005, Sheridan turned heads by helming the 50 Cent-starred Get Rich or Die Tryin’, a loose biographical account of the gangsta’ rapper’s rise to fame.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, the festival’s artistic director, said Sheridan’s mastery behind the camera made him the ideal choice to head the distinguished panel.
“Jim Sheridan is one of the most prolific filmmakers of the last two decades and responsible for some exceptional and critically acclaimed films that truly deserve the accolades bestowed upon them,” he said. “He has an extraordinary gift of telling a story with honesty and capturing a character’s raw emotion, which set his films apart. We are thrilled and honoured that he is coming to DIFF this year to head the jury and we look forward to benefiting from his vast experience.”
• DIFF runs from December 6 to 14. Visit www.dubaifilmfest.com