Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi will preside over the competition jury of the 33rd Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF). Panahi is best-known for such works as the Camera d’Or-winning The White Balloon, The Circle and Offside.

MWFF president Serge Losique said the appointment fits the festival’s long history of championing Iranian cinema. Film-maker Majid Majidi won the festival’s top prize three times in the space of five years: The Children Of Heaven in 1997, The Colour of Paradise in 1999 and Baran in 2001.

Other members of the jury include Japanese actor-turned-director Eiji Okuda, Quebec actor-producer David La Haye, Spanish writer-director Fernando Méndez-Leite Serrano, French director Pascal Thomas, French film composer Reinhardt Wagner, and Diane Demers, who lives in Montreal, who was chosen in a contest to represent the public on the official jury.