The Jury for Feature-Length Narrative Films

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)

Nuri Bilge Ceylan was born on January 26, 1959, in Istanbul, Turkey. A graduate in Chemical Engineering from Bogazici University, he traveled to London after completing his studies in 1985, providing him with time to think about his future. He returned to Turkey to fulfill his military service and decided to dedicate his life to filmmaking. He studied cinema at Mimar Sinan University and worked as a professional photographer.

After two years, he chose to discontinue his studies and focus on his career, starting with acting in a short film directed by his friend, Mohamed Ariyelmas. He began shooting his first short film, “Koza,” in late 1993. In May 1995, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, followed by “The Small Town” (1997), “Clouds of May” (1999), and “Distant.” (2002)

Ceylan personally handled almost all artistic aspects of these films, including cinematography, sound design, production, editing, screenplay, and direction. He quickly became a globally renowned director after his film “Distant” won the Grand Prix and Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. “Distant” continued to receive awards, totaling 47, including 23 international honors.

His later productions also garnered additional awards, such as the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes for “Climates” (2006), “Three Monkeys” (2008), and “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (2011). His film “Winter Sleep” received the Palme d’Or and FIPRESCI Prize in 2014.

Ceylan’s films mostly focus on individual alienation, existentialism, the monotony of human life, and the details of daily life. He employs static shots, takes extended periods in natural settings, and manipulates sounds, particularly through the use of silence.

Justine Barda (USA)

Justine Barda Programmer of Festivals. A member of the programming team at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), where her work focuses on discovering films from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, as well as at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition, she teaches film studies at the University of Seattle. She studied at the University of Washington and graduated in 2004. She oversees the Film Telescope website on the internet, promoting global films to the American audience, a result of her work as a festival programmer.

Adila Bendimerad (Algeria)

Adila Bendimerad is an actress, director, and producer born in Algiers in 1985. She has had various experiences in theater and made her prominent debut in cinema as an actress in 2011 with director Merzak Allouache’s film “Normal.” She also appeared in “The Repentant” in 2012 and “Rooftops” in 2013, both directed by Allouache. She has worked in television films, series, and video clips.

She has played several roles in films, participating in “Perfumes of Algeria” directed by Rachid Benhadj, “Parkour” by Fatma Zohra Zamoum, and her latest work is the film “Golden Barbés” (2024) directed by Hassan Guerrar.

Her film “The Last One” (2023), which she co-wrote and co-directed with her husband Damien Ounouri, achieved wide success. It received numerous international awards and was well-received by critics.

Mastaneh Mohajer (Iran)

Born on May 5, 1974, in Tehran, Mastana Muhajir works in the fields of music, editing, and film production. She received the Best Producer award for the film “Marziyah” at the City Festival and the Audience Award for producing the film “Israfil” at the Sheed International Festival in the USA. Additionally, she won the Best Production award at the Iranian Film Festival in Canada for the film “Israfil.”
Mastana Muhajir is renowned in the realm of programs and conferences, providing excellent opportunities for young individuals to showcase their work.

Martina Zigiotti (Italy)

Born in 1992 in Milan, Martina Zigiotti studied literature and cinema. Head of programming of MedFilm Festival in Rome. She is programmer in several festival, as Laceno d’Oro Film Festival and Messapica Film Festival.
She collaborates with the distribution company Cineclub Internazionale. Organizer of educational project for schools. Advisor for publishing houses.