Oscar-nominated director to lead the Muhr Arab Features Jury at the 10th Dubai International Film Festival.

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has named director, producer and writer Jim Sheridan as head of the jury for the Muhr Arab Feature Competition for the 10th edition (Dec 6-14).

The Irish filmmaker launched his career in 1989 with My Left Foot, which scored Oscars for actor Daniel Day-Lewis and co-star Brenda Fricker.

Sheridan reunited with Day-Lewis in 1993 for In the Name of the Father, which received seven Academy Award nominations and won the Golden Bear at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.

Sheridan’s body of work also includes The Boxer, In America, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and Brothers, of which the latter screened at the 6th DIFF in 2009.

DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “We are thrilled and honoured that Jim Sheridan is coming to DIFF this year to head the jury and we look forward to benefitting from his vast experience in the industry.”

Sheridan said: “The Middle East has a deep-rooted appreciation for the arts, and the Arab cinema industry continues to thrive, revealing hidden gems and previously untold stories.

“Productions from the Arab world have captivated audiences worldwide in recent years and I am delighted to be on the Muhr Arab Feature jury. I am confident that it will be an incredibly enriching and fulfilling experience.”

Last year, more than 80 films competed for the Muhr Awards and over $575,000 in prize money across three categories - Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica.

Arabic features are also eligible for a variety of global awards including the FIPRESCI International Prize of the Critics Award, all of which will be announced at the awards ceremony on Dec 13.