The seventh annual Abu Dhabi Film Festival will give voice to international stars come Oct. 24 when actress Jacki Weaver leads the Middle Eastern fest's narrative competition jury.

She will be joined by Black Pearl career achievement winner Hiam Abbass, chief exec of Film London and the British Film Commissioner Adrian Wootton, Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha and Sandra den Hamer, CEO of EYE Film Institute Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the documentary competition jury will be spearheaded by Cameron Bailey, the co-director and artistic director of the Toronto Film Festival. Dutch screenwriter Leonard Retel Helmrich, "A World Not Ours" director Mahdi Fleifel, South African writer Peter Machen and Algerian film critic Nabil Hadji will round out the group.

Black Pearl best film winner for 2012's "Araf," Yesim Ustaoglu, will lead the New Horizons competition jury. Ustaoglu will be assisted by Irene Bignardi, co-founder of the Italian daily La Repubblica and former director of the Locarno Film Festival; Moroccan filmmaker Nour-Eddine Lakhmari; Valery Todorovsky, whose musical "Hipsters" won the Black Pearl narrative film award in 2009; and Lebanese director Michel Kammoun.

Other juries will judge the child protection, short film and Emirates film competitions. The Intl. Federation of Film Critics will bestow its Fipresci kudo on Arab films from the narrative feature, New Horizons and documentary feature entries.

The nine-day fest runs Oct.24-Nov. 2.


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