Middle East

Meet the Judges

Image caption meet the 2017 panel of judges

Our judging panel is made up of journalism and film experts and practitioners. They are broken up into three groups:

Panel judging Feature Documentaries:

Jihan El-Tahri is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist. She has been making documentaries since 1990. Her most recent film, Nasser, was part of the 2015 official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival. Jihan is engaged in a number of associations working with African cinema, including the Guild of African Filmmakers in the Diaspora, the Federation of Pan African Cinema and Focus Feature's Africa First Program. She is also a Mentor at the Documentary Campus.

Charlie Phillips is the Head of Documentaries at The Guardian.Guardian Documentaries commissions and acquires new documentaries from all around the world for the The Guardian's Pulitzer Prize-winning global website. Charlie was previously Deputy Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest for 7 years before joining The Guardian in 2014, and prior to that he was Editor of FourDocs for Channel 4.

Kate Townsend is the Executive Producer of the BBC's acclaimed international documentary series, Storyville, where she oversees all content. Kate has directed and produced a wide range of factual programmes, including Paddington Green, Louis Theroux's Weird Weekend and films in the This World and Cutting Edge strands. She won the 2007 RTS Award for Best Current Affairs Documentary for BBC Two's Power to the People. Previously, she was Series Producer on Horizon.

Panel judging Short Films:

Nadine Toukan is a film producer based between Doha and Amman. For the last 15 years, she has blazed a trail that ignited Jordan's contemporary cinematic arts movement. She has independently produced award winning, commercially released films from Jordan, including the Oscar-nominated Theeb (2014), When Monaliza Smiled (2012) and Captain Abu Raed (2007). Nadine will be spending 2016 with the Doha Film Institute leading a program that supports the productions of emerging Qatari filmmakers. Nadine is an active believer in an Arab renaissance.

Tony El-Khoury is a BBC Arabic TV News presenter. He works primarily on Newshour and The World at One. For two years, Tony presented Cinema Badila, BBC Arabic's alternative cinema programme where he interviewed countless filmmakers from the region and beyond. Tony started his media career 25 years ago when he joined Al Hayat newspaper. He first started on broadcast media at MBC TV as a producer, where he won the award for Best International Weather Graphics Presenter. He then joined with AlArabiya News Channel, living between London and Dubai. At Al Arabiya News, Tony was the recipient of various awards for graphics. He joined BBC Arabic in 2007.

Tarik Kafala is the Controller of Languages at BBC World Service, appointed in 2016. He has worked for the BBC World Service and BBC News for more than 20 years, as a programme maker, reporter and editor in radio, television and online. Prior to that, he was Head of BBC Arabic where he oversaw the opening of the BBC bureau in Cairo, and the launch of the BBC Arabic Festival, now seeing its third edition. His former role was Middle East editor of the BBC News website. In 2012, he established a training programme for journalists in Libya, on behalf of BBC Media Action.

Panel judging Short Documentaries and Reportage:

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist and commentator on Arab affairs. His articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The New York Times and Foreign Policy, among other notable publications. Al-Qassemi is an MIT Media Labs Director's Fellow. He has been named on Arabian Business's "World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs" list in 2014, and Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Al-Qassemi is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, established to contribute to intellectual development in the Arab region.

Yalda Hakim is an award-winning foreign correspondent. She currently anchors the BBC World News flagship programme Impact and delivers hard hitting journalism for the Our World documentary strand. In the past twelve months she has reported from some of the world's most challenging areas; covering the rise of ISIS in Iraq, Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram, the devastation of the Nepal earthquake, the plight of people starving in South Sudan and has gained entry to Eritrea - considered one of the most secretive and oppressive states on earth.

Rosa Bosch is a Barcelona-born film and television producer based between Havana and London. Throughout her career, Rosa has worked on a long list of notable films including Wim Wenders' Buena Vista Social Club, Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores Perros and many more. Rosa currently runs CubanStar, a Havana-based production company, developing content and providing film services on the island, working with HBO, Vanity Fair and Chanel amongst others. Prior to her production work, Rosa was programming Latin American films for the American Film Institute and serving as Deputy Director of the London Film Festival.