As announced by the festival’s Artistic Director Mike Downey; Palestinian Elia Suleiman, one of the world’s most renowned directors who has won awards at many important European festivals, became the jury president of the 54th International Antalya Film Festival this year. An accomplished director, Suleiman has been in the jury of various festivals and his movies are highly praised.
Suleiman, who expressed the absurdity of war and the carelessness of humankind with his cinema, has a unique style of blending tragedy with comedy. Suleiman, besides being a producer, is also recognized by his academic contributions to cinema and social service projects. Accordingly, he was the recipient of an award for the dialogue between cultures, at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy.
Elia Suleiman has participated in numerous festivals as jury member including Cannes Film Festival (2006) and was a President of the Jury of The New Horizons Competition, Abu Dhabi Film Festival (2010), Deauville Asian Film Festival (2012), Rotterdam Film Festival (2014).
Suleiman has been given tributes among which are the MoMA in New York, Istanbul Film Festival, and Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival in Portugal. He was the recipient of the 1992 Rockefeller Award and the 2008 Prince Claus Award. In 2009, he was named the Variety Magazine Middle-East filmmaker of the year in Abu Dhabi Film Festival where he was awarded the Black Pearl Award for The Time That Remains.
His Films and Awards
Elia Suleiman was born in Nazareth in 1960. He lived in New York from 1981 to 1993. While in the United States, he has directed his first two short films: Introduction to the End of an Argument and Homage by Assasination, winning numerous awards. In 1994, the European Commission had entrusted him with the mission of creating a Film and Media Department at Birzeit University in the West Bank. His first feature film, Chronicle of a Disappearance, won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, Divine Intervention won the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize of the Cannes Film Festival as well as the Best Foreign Film Prize at the European Film Awards in Rome. In 2007, he was chosen as one of the 35 directors of To Each His Own Cinema, a collective film for the Cannes Film Festival 60th anniversary. His last feature film The Time That Remains was in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. In 2012, he completed a short film titled Diary of a Beginner, part of a collective feature titled 7 Days in Havana. The film was in the official selection Un Certain Regard of Cannes Film Festival.