Middle East

Aan Korb Film & Documentary Festival: Judges

Aan Korb

Our panels of judges are all experts in their field. There are two separate judging panels for the Aan Korb festival. One panel of five members judges the Feature and Short Films categories. Another panel of five members judges the Documentaries, Investigative and Citizen Journalism Categories. This is the panel that will also select the BBC Arabic Young Talent Bursary recipient.


Panel Chair: Liliane Landor, Controller, Languages, Global News

Liliane started at the BBC with the French service. Liliane is now Controller of Languages for BBC Global News, and is editorially and managerially responsible for all 27 language services on radio, TV and online.

Liliane was born in Lebanon and educated in France and Switzerland, of Arab-Cuban descent. She speaks five languages.

Panel Members

Kaleem Aftab, Film Correspondent

Kaleem Aftab is a film correspondent for The Independent. He is also Editor-At-Large for The Talks, Film Editor for VS Magazine and Contributing Editor for Interview Magazine. Kaleem wrote the acclaimed biography of Spike Lee: That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It. Kaleem is also a film programmer for the Circuitooff Venice Short Film Festival. In addition he has produced a number of short films including the award winning Mash Up and Much Ado About a Minor Ting. He also produced the feature film This Is What It Is and is an Associate Producer on Sundance Competition entry The Imperialists Are Still Alive.

Briony Hanson, Director of Film, British Council

Briony Hanson is Director of Film at the British Council, responsible for promoting UK films and filmmakers internationally and finding opportunities for creative exchange. Previously she was Director of The Script Factory, Director of Tyneside Cinema, headed the BFI Programme Unit and co-programmed the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. She has conducted numerous onstage interviews from Julianne Moore and Gus Van Sant to Dustin Hoffman and Andrej Wajda. She makes regular broadcast appearances from Front Row to The Culture Show, co-edited the 2008 Filmmakers' Yearbook, and was DIVA Magazine's Film Editor from 2007-12.

Sara Ishaq, Director

Sara Ishaq is a Yemeni-Scot who grew up in Sana'a. In 2007, she worked as a researched/translator on location of a BBC 5-part series called Women in Black, which was shot across the Middle East and Europe. This was her first experience working in the film industry. In 2011, she returned to Yemen at the onset of the Yemen uprising, and began reporting on BBC radio and filming for BBC World Service/Newsnight. She is one of the co-founders of the Yemeni media activist collaborative, #SupportYemen. In early 2012, she finished her debut award-winning documentary film Karama has no Walls, nominee for the Oscar awards 2014 for Short Documentary. In September 2013, she completed her first feature film The Mulberry House, which deals with her relationship with her Yemeni family against the backdrop of the country's 2011 revolution. Now based between Egypt and Yemen as a freelance director/producer, she is working on developing her local Yemeni production house (Setara Films) while establishing an Arts centre for Yemeni filmmakers and artists.

Rose Issa, Curator, Writer, Publisher

Rose Issa is a curator, writer and publisher who has championed visual art and film from the Arab world for more than 30 years. From her project space on Great Portland Street in London she showcases upcoming and established artists and produces exhibitions and publications with international public and private institutions including The British Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. From 1982-2008 she curated an Arab and Iranian film season in France and the UK, and has served as a special advisor to The Berlinale (2003-2007); the International Rotterdam Film Festival (1996-2002); the London International Film Festival (1987-2003); and the British Film Institute (1988-1995). She has also curated Arab and Iranian film seasons for Channel 4, the National Film Theatre, the Barbican and co-directed the documentary "Moving Pictures; Tunisian Women Film Directors" for BBC2 (1995).


Panel Chair: Tom Giles, Editor, BBC Panorama

Tom Giles is editor of Panorama, the BBC's flagship current affairs series. In 2008, he was awarded a BAFTA as producer of Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain.

He served as an executive producer for BBC Current Affairs and was responsible for some of Panorama's high-profile undercover investigations such as Hate On The Doorstep, which exposed racist abuse on a housing estate in Bristol.

His In The Line Of Fire, about the friendly-fire incident in the Iraq War involving his team and the BBC's World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, won the RTS International Current Affairs award in 2004.

Since becoming Panorama editor in March 2010, he has overseen BAFTA and RTS-winning investigations into Undercover Care Homes, Children in Care, FIFA's Dirty Secrets, and Cash for Questions in Westminster.

Panel Members

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Foreign Correspondent, The Guardian

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is an Iraqi journalist and writes for The Guardian newspaper. He has also written for the Washington Post, and reported from Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. He has won numerous awards for his journalism, including the British Press Awards Foreign Reporter of the Year in 2008.

Hussain Currimbhoy, Director of Programming, Sheffield Doc/Fest

Hussain Currimbhoy has worked in film festival programming and curating for over 10 years, working with overseas festivals such as the Melbourne International Film Festival and Adelaide Film Festival, and is currently director of programming for Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Marc Perkins, BBC Arabic Head of Documentaries

Marc Perkins started his career in Radio, before learning to film and edit. For ten years he worked as a freelance shoot-producer, specialising in hostile environments. He covered the conflict in Congo, Angola, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has worked as a documentary producer for the BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera. Over the last two years Marc has run BBC Arabic's award-winning documentary series, Aan Korb, which has closely followed the uprisings across the Arab World.

Ahdaf Soueif , Writer, Political and Cultural Commentator

Ahdaf Soueif's account of recent Egyptian events, Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, was published in 2012. An updated edition, Cairo: a City Transformed, came out in January 2014 (Knopf and Bloomsbury).

She is the author of the bestselling The Map of Love, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999 and translated into more than 30 languages, as well as the well-loved In the Eye of the Sun and the collection of short stories, I Think of You.

Ms Soueif is also a political and cultural commentator. A collection of her essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, was published in 2004. Her articles for the Guardian in the UK are also published in the European press, and she writes a weekly column (in Arabic) for the national daily, al-Shorouk, in Egypt.

In 2007 she founded Engaged Events, a UK based charity. Its first project is the Palestine Festival of Literature which takes place annually in the cities of occupied Palestine and Gaza.

Ms Soueif holds a PhD in Linguistics and is a recipient of three honorary doctorates from UK universities. She has also received the Metropolis Bleu and the Constantin Cavafy Awards (2012), was the first recipient of the Mahmoud Darwish Award (2010) and was shortlisted for the Liberty Human Rights Award (2013).

Ms Soueif was recently named by the Guardian as "one of the 100 people with most influence on the English reading public", and by Arabian Business as "one of the 100 most powerful women in the Arab world today."