Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha joins Venice International Film Festival jury

Dora Bouchoucha is Tunisia’s first female movie producer. (AFP)
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Updated 27 July 2020

Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha joins Venice International Film Festival jury

DUBAI: Tunisian film producer Dora Bouchoucha was on Monday named as a jury member for the 77th Venice International Film Festival due to take place in September.

Festival organizers announced that Bouchoucha, Tunisia’s first female movie producer, would be a judge for the Luigi De Laurentiis award for best debut feature screening in Venice.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dora Bouchoucha (@dorabouchoucha) on

The 62-year-old filmmaker will join Italian director Claudio Giovannesi, who will serve as president, and French artistic director Remi Bonhomme, who has also been appointed as artistic director for the Marrakesh International Film Festival.

In 2017, the Huffington Post described Bouchoucha as “a born rebel, a trailblazer of wonderful self-assurance, elegance, and beauty” and in 2018 she attended the Cannes Film Festival premiere of “Dear Son,” a feature film co-produced by her company, Nomadis Images.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The winner of the Luigi De Laurentiis award will receive $100,000 to be shared between the film’s director and producer.

Venice is the world’s longest-running film festival and in January its organizers announced that Australian actress Cate Blanchett would preside over this year’s edition.

Due to the lockdowns imposed on the film industry around the world to help limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the festival was likely to be attended by fewer productions, said regional governor Luca Zaia, who is also a board member of the Biennale di Venezia arts organization.


Lebanese teen Nour Ardakani is global pop group Now United’s first Arab member

Updated 21 September 2020

Lebanese teen Nour Ardakani is global pop group Now United’s first Arab member

DUBAI: The search for global music group Now United’s newest member is finally over. Enter Nour Ardakani, the 18-year-old singer from Lebanon, who is set to become the band’s 16th member – and first Arab – after an extensive, months-long search for talent across the Middle East and North Africa.

Ardakani was hand-picked by Simon Fuller, the man who founded popular British girl band The Spice Girls and created “American Idol.”

“I think you are absolutely wonderful, and I think you would be perfect to join the group. And I would like to invite you to be the next member of Now United,” Fuller told the singer and dancer in a video call.

“Seriously, it’s me? You picked me?” asked Ardakani, to which Fuller replied: “You got it.”

The singer, who currently resides in Beirut with her family, joins fellow group for the band’s latest single “Feel It Now.”

Founded in 2017, the multinational music group announced in November last year that they were looking for a new member from the MENA region.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Out of thousands of hopefuls in the Middle East and North Africa, 13 were shortlisted and invited to participate in a virtual audition last week in front of Fuller. Eventually, it came down to Ardakani and a 15-year-old Emirati singer, Alya Al-Ali.

Fuller picked Ardakani after hearing her recording of Now United’s song “Habibi.”