Jury Members of the 18th Golden Elephant
The 18th International Children’s Film Festival India popularly known as the Golden Elephant has an impressive adult jury comprising talented individuals from different parts of the world. Here is all you need to know about them.
1. Honey Irani
She started working as a child artiste and has starred in more than 75 films in various languages in India. Her marriage to Javed Akhtar has given us two of the finest creative talents we have today: Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar. The National Award winner has written stories and scripts for path-breaking movies like Lamhe, Aaina, Darr, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, and Koi Mil Gaya. The Filmfare Award winner has also directed Preity Zinta, Anil Kapoor, and Amitabh Bachchan in Armaan.
2. Sanjana Kapoor
Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kapoor’s daughter has been credited with single-handedly reviving Prithvi Theatre and the theatre scene in Mumbai after she took over in 1990. She has made Prithvi Theatre a cultural hub and encouraged the showcase of art, poetry, and other creative disciplines and even taken drama and theatre to children. She has initiated the India Theatre Forum and Junoon is her platform to keep theatre alive.
3. Vibeka Muasya
With a background in Modern Dance, she has dabbled successfully in film-making as well. Her first short film The Tulip Night won the Silver Prize in Rotterdam in 1999. Her first feature film, Lost in Africa was a tribute to 34 million street children in Africa who live under inhuman conditions and won many awards like the Amnesty International Award for Best Movie. She has also won the Best Director Award at the 17th Golden Elephant in 2011.
4. Ben Hopkins
Ben Hopkins’ background is as diverse as his talents. He was born in Hong Kong and raised in London and now lives in Berlin and Istanbul. The Oxford and Royal College of Art Graduate has made feature films, short films, documentaries that have won awards at festivals in Berlin, Locarno, and Antalya. The novelist and screenwriter has mastered languages such as French, German, English, and Turkish.
5. Bobbeetta Sharma
She is the icon of Assam and has single-handedly contributed immensely to Assamese cinema and its popularity in India and abroad. Having acted in films and serials, she is the creator of Bidexot Apun Manuh( Our Own People Abroad) which is a hit with Assamese people around the world. As a social worker, she has worked on issues of child labour and women’s empowerment. She is currently writing a book on the history of Assamese cinema and serves as the Honorary Chairperson of Assam State Film Finance and Development Corporation which produced the National-Award winning film Baandhon. That is not all, Ms. Sharma is presently Secretary, Assam PCC, Member, AICC and Co-Chair, Indian Women Network, North Eastern Region, CII.
6. Stephanie Rückoldt
Born in Hamburg, Germany she has resided in Bogotá, Colombia, since 2005. She holds a Masters of Visual Communication (focus film) from the Art Academy in Hamburg, Germany. She’s an artist and head of the Foundation “Caleidoscopio de Sueños” / Kaleidoskope of Dreams”. She’s also a director of the International ArtFilm-Festival for children in Colombia, has been a professor at different Universities in Bogotá, at the moment she is teaching at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. As a filmmaker she has worked with children from different parts of the world, specializing in making animated films with them.
7. Siddiq Barmak
Born in Afghanistan, he got his M.A degree in cinema direction from the Film Academy (VGIK) Moscow in the year 1987. His films “Osama” 2003 and “Opium War” 2008 were warmly received in Afghanistan and around the world and were awarded in many international film festivals. Since 2003 he is handling Afghan Children Educational Movement where many children have made their first short films. He currently teaches cinema at Kabul University.
8. Hou Keming
Professor Hou Keming PhD is a film academic, producer and director, and has held many prestigious roles in Chinese film institutions. In 1996 he was appointed Vice-President of the Beijing Film Academy and in 1997 he became Head of the Youth Film Studio. Hou sits on the board of the International Centre of Film for Children and Youth (CIFEJ) and is Secretary-General of the China National Coordination Committee of Primary and Secondary Education in Film and Television. He chairs the China Children’s Film Association and is President of the China International Children’s Film Festival. As a producer and director Hou has made more than 20 feature films, including Running on Karma, Spring Subway, and When Ruoma Was Seventeen. Jury member for the China Huabiao Film Awards and the Golden Rooster Awards, Hou has also been on the jury for children’s film festivals in Cairo, Tokyo Kinder and Cinekid-International.
9. Stefan Jager
Stefan Jäger studied at the Film-Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg. He currently teaches direction at the same institute and script writing at the ZHdK in Zurich.
He has written and directed numerous feature films and documentaries for cinema and television such“Birthday”, “Horizon Beautiful”, “Hello Goodbye”, “Cyrill Trifft” and others, which has won awards around the world. He has also dabbled intheatrical plays with “57‘ 38 ‘’ Ewigkeit”, “Alte Freunde” and others. The festival regular is a member of the Swiss and European Film Academy.
10. Fauzia Minallah
She is an award-winning artist, author, animator, and peace activist in Pakistan. Fauzia’s passion for art and books is an outcome of her activism in heritage, conservation, environmental and social matters. Through children’s literature she raises issues of peace, tolerance, and justice. Her involvement with children is through a platform that she has provided to them in the shape of Funkor Child Art Centre, carrying out art and book reading workshops for ‘children in crisis’. Animation is an effective tool she uses for her work with children and for political satires.
11. Layaly Badr
Born in Palestine, raised in Kuwait and educated in Germany, she has been a trailblazer in the Arab world. The multiple award-winner has managed the first Arabic channel targetted at children and started ART Teenz, the first Arabic channel for teenagers.
She was the manager of the 1st Arabic children specialized channel, and started the 1st Arab channel for teens ART Teenz.
She has published children’s stories such “A river, A Tree & Birds”, “Lobana & the Moon”, and written scripts for tele-films such as “The Star” and “Al Takreem.” She has created films in various animation and fiction such as “The Way To Palestine”, “The Key of the Fairy Tales,” and others. She has also directed the musical “A Planet All of Our Own” for UNICEF. Currently, she is the Creative and Sales MD of Rotana Studios, the biggest Arabic studio in the Middle East.
Jiri Barta: Born in Prague, Czech Republic, he graduated from the University of Art, Architecture and Design, and has produced short and feature animated films – mainly by his own proposals.
He works with three-dimensional animation – puppets and real objects in combination with all possible techniques and live acting (Pied Piper, In The Attic, The Extinct World Of Gloves, Club Of The Discarded, Yuki Onna). These films have already been showcased at international film festivals where they have been applauded and awarded. His artwork also included setting theatre stages and illustrations. He teaches the same at art universities in Prague and Pilsen.
13. P. Suneel Kumar Reddy
He is a mechanical engineer by qualification, journalist by profession and a film maker by passion. After publishing a newspaper and a magazine for seven years, he migrated into the bigger media of cinema. He forayed into film-making with a silent film titled “Silence.. Please!” in 2000. He has made seven films in Telugu and one film in Malayalam. His films like Hero, Chance and Sontha Vooru have won numerous awards from the Andhra Pradesh Government and have also been acclaimed at national and international festivals.
14. M Vedakumar
He is the Chairman of Children’s Film Society, Andhra Pradesh , Chelimi Foundation, and also Children’s Educational Academy. He holds the designation of President, Forum for a Better Hyderabad. He is the Co-Convenor of INTACH Andhra Pradesh State Chapter. He has made creative arts available to school-going children.
On behalf of Children’s Film Society Andhra Pradesh, he has organised seven editions of the Golden Elephant in Hyderabad since 1992 and has also organised the 1st and 2nd Asian Children’s Film Festivals in association with APSFTVTDC. He has played an integral in making Hyderabad the permanent venue for the Golden Elephant.
15. N. Gopala Krishna
He has worked as an Assistant & Associate Director till 1975. He has produced and directed many films like “Lakshmanarekha”, “Swarganiki Nichanalu”, “Baiekapuram”, “Maro”, “Sethakatha”, “Chinnari”, etc. He was a former Senior Producer at ENadu Television, Director of APSFTVTDC for 10 documentary films, Principal of Film & TV Institute of Bhagyanagar. Having won several awards, he has been part of many film committees in Andhra Pradesh. He has written several books like Bala Sajeevani, Vandegomataram, Baalala Hakkulu, etc.
17. Sannette Naeyé (Dutch)
She is the Director of Cinekid Foundation and the Cinekid Festival which is seen by the industry as the largest of its kind in the world, presenting the best and latest film, TV and new media productions for young audiences and an innovative participatory programme. It hosts a variety of seminars, expert meetings, co-production markets and a programme market for professionals.
Previously, she has worked for two Dutch television companies: IKON (Head of Film Department) and VARA (Editor-in-chief Art and Cultural programming). She has been a member of several public and private foundations, boards and international juries, and is a script-doctor and renowned speaker.
18. Rowena Martinez Ulayan (Tuzcucoglu)
Rowena Martinez Ulayan (Tuzcucoglu), has been involved in children’s cinema for 35 years, dating back from her student days at the University of the Philippines where she had her first cinematic arts education from a workshop by German Children’s Filmmaker Haro Senf, whose passion and advocacy inspired her to a serious study on this subject.
After finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, she joined the Film Center of the University of the Philippines as Cinematic Arts Education Specialist, a position she held for ten years until she went to Moscow to pursue graduate studies in Children’s Films at the All Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) and training in film directing with children’s film director Rolan Bykov at the Moscow Film Studios. After this stint, she organized the First Children’s Film Festival in Manila and held a forum for educators and young filmmakers on the issue. She then went on to Japan to specialise in Educational Technology at the Yokohama National University where she did a research on Children’s Films and Television in the Japanese Educational System.
Since 1996, she lives in Istanbul and has continued her career in children’s cinema as a consultant in primary education and educational technology as well as organizing film festivals for children. She is the founding chairperson of Children’s Film and Art Association, the organization behind the Universal Kids Film festival in Istanbul that she also directs.
Rowena is also known for her minimalist paintings. An internationally acclaimed artist, she has won several awards for her works not only in Turkey but also abroad. She was awarded first prize in painting, by the Anglo-Italian Academy of Arts, during the 2011 Chianciano Art Biennale in Italy and in 2013, the same body awarded her second prize for her works submitted at the 2013 London Art Biennale.