Uma Thurman, Annemarie Jacir and Sophia Al-Maria join SundanceTV Shorts Competition jury

First-ever SundanceTV Shorts Competition in MENA welcomes submissions until 25 October, grand prize to include an exclusive masterclass with Uma Thurman

Acclaimed actress and producer Uma Thurman and trailblazing filmmakers Annemarie Jacir and Sophia Al-Maria have joined the SundanceTV Shorts Competition jury panel, said organisers. Launched by SundanceTV in collaboration with the DFI, the MENA edition of the SundanceTV Shorts Competition is a platform for independent storytellers and emerging talent in the region, to share their stories.

The winner of the competition will participate in an exclusive masterclass with Golden Globe winner and Academy Award and Primetime Emmy Award nominee Uma Thurman. Additional prizes include a state-of-the-art home entertainment package. The winner and three runners-up will be announced in November, and their films will broadcast exclusively on SundanceTV, later in the year.

Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman is best known for her iconic roles in Quentin Tarantino’s cult classics, Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill franchisewhich garnered her an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination respectively. She has starred in many acclaimed films, including Dangerous LiaisonsHenry & JuneThe Truth About Cats & Dogs and Gattaca. Thurman earned a Golden Globe Award for “Hysterical Blindness,” which she produced and starred in. Recently, Thurman was awarded The Actors Fund’s Medal of Honor at their annual gala in New York City.


Annemarie Jacir

Palestinian filmmaker and poet Annemarie Jacir has forged new artistic territory, having written, directed and produced over sixteen films. Two of her films have premiered as Official Selections in Cannes, one in Berlin and in Venice, Locarno, and Telluride. All three of her feature films were Palestine’s official Oscar entries. Founder of Philistine Films, she collaborates regularly with fellow filmmakers as an editor, screenwriter and producer.  In 2018, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and also served on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival and Berlinale. She is a co-founder of the newly established Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem, fulfilling a family dream of establishing a space for the arts in Palestine.

Sophia Al-Maria

Sophia Al-Maria is an American writer and artist based on the gulf. Her video artwork has been shown in many contexts from solo shows at the Tate Britain and the Whitney Museum to group shows at community colleges and online fundraising platforms.  Most recently she wrote a television series called Little Birds (Sky Atlantic) starring Yumna Marwan and Juno Temple set in Tangier 1955. Her first book The Girl Who Fell to Earth (Harper Collins) was published in 2012. Her second book Sad Sack (Bookworks UK) is her favourite though.

Thurman, Jacir and Al-Maria complete the jury lead by television industry veteran, Harold Gronenthal, who is Executive Vice President, Programming and Marketing for AMC Networks International, broadcaster of SundanceTV outside of North America.


Harold Gronenthal

Those interested to participate in the 2020 SundanceTV Shorts MENA competition are now able to take advantage of an extra week and enter their film(s) until 25 October at www.SundanceShortsMENA.com/submission-form/. Entries can be submitted by the producer or director, who must provide proof of residence in the MENA. Films should be no longer than 15 minutes and must be delivered with English subtitles if English is not the spoken language. SundanceTV Shorts competition is open for all who have a story to share, irrespective of whether the short film has been produced with sophisticated equipment or with a mobile phone. Entries must meet SundanceTV’s official rules and technical requirements, available on the website. Submissions will be judged on creativity, entertainment value, original storytelling and production values.