Merzak Allouache is an Algerian screenwriter and film director. Over the past thirty years, he has directed documentary films, humoristic shows for the Algerian television and several feature films.

    He earned worldwide fame from his first film Omar Gatlato, which depicted the daily life of a young Algerian facing various frustrating social situations. This comedy was selected for the 1977 Cannes film Festival edition, and won awards at the festivals in Moscow Karlovy Vary.

    In 1994, he directed Bal El Oued City, depicting the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. This film won numerous awards, including the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes and the Grand Prix de l’Institut du Monde Arabe at the 2nd Festival of Arab Cinema in Paris. He also directed Salut cousin, which was nominated to the 69th Academy Awards in the “Best Foreign Language Film”. Category. It features the relationship between young immigrants and their cousins left behind in their homeland.

    His film Chouchou, which dealt with the sensitive topic of homosexuality, was released in 2003 and became a major commercial success. His latest feature film Harragas describes the plight of young illegal immigrants from Algeria risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean to get to Europe. Throughout his works, Merzak Allouache explores the dreams and the illusions of young people struggling with the social realities of their time. 


    Hana Jusic is a young Croatian screenwriter, film director, dramatic art teacher, film journalist and critic.

    From 2008 to 2011, she was awarded many prizes for her films: at the Croatian Film Days Festival; the Biennal Review of the Academy of Dramatic Art – FRKA, the Pula Film Festival and at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2010, her film Pametnice/ The Clever Ones won special recognition of the Bristish Council and the honour to be screened at festivals in Sofia and Bristol. In 2011, she joined the international jury at the ZagrebDox festival.

    Ms Jusic enrolled in  M.AS studies of film and TV directing at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb.



    The work of prolific Haitian author, film director, screenwriter and film producer Raoul Peck spans nearly 30 years. He directed and produced many short and feature films, including: De Cuba traigo un cantar (1982), Merry Christmas Deutschland (1984), Chère Catherine (1997), Haitian Corner (1988), Lumumba – La mort du prophète (1991), Corps plongés (1997), as well as documentaries and TV dramas such as Desounen, Dialogue avec la mort (1994), Haïti, le silence des chiens (1994), l’Affaire Villemin (2006), l’Ecole du pouvoir (2008).

    Minister of Culture of the Republic of Haïti from 1995 to 1997, Mr Peck is the current president of La Fémis (French public film school known as École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son) and has been a professor at the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (1994-1995). He has received numerous honours and distinctions, including the Nestor Almendros Prize of Human Rights Watch (1994) and the Irene Diamond Award for his work in favour of human rights (2001).

    Raoul Peck holds an engineering degree from the University of Berlin and graduated from the Academy of Film and Television in Berlin.


    Jean Roy is the current president of International Federation of Film Critics.

    He has served as director of the French Federation of Film Societies, general secretary of the French Film Critics Guild, vice-president of the International Film and Television Council.

    For nineteen years, he headed the Critics’Week at the Cannes Film Festival and participated in many other festivals all over the world. 

    Jean Roy is renowned as a film scholar and educator. He earned a MFA from UCLA and a PhD from the University of Paris-X (Nanterre), where he currently teaches film courses as an Associate Professor.


    Adama Samassékou is President of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies and of the Maaya Network for linguistic diversity.

    Former Minister of Education of Mali, and former Executive Secretary of African Academy of Languages, he was president of “Prepcom” of the Geneva phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). He is now member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

    Graduated in Philology and Linguistics, he was Director of the National Library of Mali.


    Novelist, screenwriter, ambassador and professor, Antonio Skármeta – from Chile -  has received numerous international awards. His books have been translated into nearly thirty languages worldwide.

    The list of his works includes the source novel for the 1995 Academy Award nominated motion picture Il Postino (The Postman), Match Ball (1989), The Composition (2003), the Poet’s Wedding (2005) and, more recently, The Dancer and the Thief (2008). 


    Former director of communications for a non-governmental organization and General Secretary of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity, Charles Vallerand has worked in the cultural sphere for two decades, including ten years in international cultural cooperation. 

    He also possesses significant experience in public broadcasting.

    Mr Vallerand did his undergraduate studies in filmmaking and journalism and holds an M.A. in communications and an international M.B.A.


    Author, film critic, editor, Aruna Vasudev – from India – is the founder-president of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) which is a leading platform for the discovery and promotion of Asian cinema.

    Aruna Vasudev is the founder-editor in chief of Cinemaya, the Asian Film Quarterly publication, which provides a forum for mostly Asian critics, writers and scholars. She is the director of the annual festival of Asian Cinema Osian’s-Cinefan. She has been a member of the jury of more than thirty international film festivals, including Cannes (Camera d’Or), Locarno, Pusan, Granada, Karlovy Vary, Singapore, Las Palmas, etc.

    As an active member of the Indo-French Initiative Forum, Aruna Vasudev has contributed to building cooperation between the two countries in the field of cinema.  

    She holds a PhD in cinema and has studied film at La Fémis (French public film school known as  École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son) in Paris where she has worked as a film  editor.