Lee Daniels is heading the jury for the Muhr Feature competition at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

Daniels, the director and producer of Oscar-winning films Precious and The Butler, will be joined by Dutch cinematographer and director Leonard Retel Helmrich, Algerian director Malik Bensmail, actress Virginia Madsen and Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki.

Meanwhile, Egyptian critic Mohammed Rouda will replace filmmaker Mohamed Khan as head of the jury for the Muhr Shorts & Emirati competition. Khan had to cancel his visit to Dubai at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Rouda will be joined by Palestinian director Cherien Dabis and Emirati screenwriter Mohammed Hasan Ahmed.

“The groundbreaking works entered into the reputable Muhr Awards this year have proven the fruits of our labour over the past 11 years,” said DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali.

“The number of entries has increased in line with the caliber of the works, which has simultaneously raised the reputation of both the Awards and the region’s filmmakers, bringing together the Arab world’s greatest cinematic minds.”

The Muhr Awards will be presented at a ceremony on December 16.