BENICIO DEL TORO
American Puerto Rican Actor
Palestinian director & writer
After presenting her 2003 short film Like Twenty Impossibles at Cannes under the aegis of the Cinéfondation, Annemarie Jacir’s feature debut Salt of this Sea premiered at Un Certain Regard 2008. One of the leading filmmakers from the Arab world, she has written, directed and produced over sixteen films. Her three features to date were selected as Palestine’s entry for the Oscars. With a commitment to teaching, training and hiring locally, Annemarie Jacir also curates films, actively promoting independent cinema in the region. Founder of Philistine Films, a production house with offices in Palestine and Jordan, she collaborates regularly with fellow filmmakers. She teaches screenwriting and works as a freelance editor and consultant. Her most recent film Wajib (2017) won 18 international awards including Best Film in Mar Del Plata, Dubai, Amiens, and Kerala.
Kantemir Balagov was born in 1991 in Nalchik, capital of the autonomous Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. He undertook studies in Economy then Law and directed several web mini-series shot on a still camera before discovering that Alexandre Sokurov had opened a film school in his hometown. At the end of their interview, Sokurov placed him directly in the third year study group. He directed several short films, then armed with his first feature script, he was able to raise the money, with Sokurov’s help, to direct Closeness, which premiered at Un Certain Regard 2017, where he won a FIPRESCI prize. His next film will be about women who fought as soldiers trying to rejoin civil society after the Second World War.
Virginie Ledoyen began her career appearing in television commercials from age 3. At 13, she was chosen by Philomène Esposito to play the lead in the feature film Mima. Then she appeared with Marcello Mastoianni and Michel Piccoli in Christian de Chalonge’s Le Voleur d’enfants. Her meeting with Olivier Assayas was decisive, as his Cold Water confirmed her vocation to be an actress. She went on to be directed by Claude Chabrol, Benoît Jacquot, Edward Yang and Pierre Jolivet, among others. In 2000, she worked with Leonardo DiCaprio and Guillaume Canet in Danny Boyle’s The Beach. She then appeared in François Ozon’s 8 Women, for which the ensemble cast was awarded a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at Berlin 2002. She went on to work with such directors as Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Koldo Serra and Robert Guédiguian. She recently appeared in Axelle Laffont’s MILF and will be seen later this year in Antoine Blossier’s Rémi sans famille.
American Executive director of the Telluride Film Festival
Julie Huntsinger is the Executive Director of the Telluride Film Festival, held each Labor Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado, USA. The former producer began her career in the film business in 1993 when she worked for Francis Ford Coppola’s film studio American Zoetrope in San Francisco. She has produced films all over the world and joined Telluride co-founder Tom Luddy as co-director in 2006. Prior to her work in film, Huntsinger studied French literature and Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed the Mass Media Institute’s programme in Broadcast Journalism at Stanford University.