NIRA BENEGAL (INDIA) – CHAIR
A true lover of the arts, Nira Benegal contributes to and supports a diverse range of artistic disciplines including film, literature, music, architecture and design.
Born in Lahore in 1939, Benegal attended the American boarding school Woodstock in the Himalayas, and later completed her BA Honours in History at the University of Delhi.
Benegal had a long and successful career as an editor for the leading publisher of children’s books, India Book House. She later joined Inside Outside, India’s first and foremost design magazine, as Assistant Editor where she remained for the first three years of its publication.
Currently, Benegal is a member of the Film Selection Committee for the Mumbai Film Festival.
She is also a member of the Managing Committee of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes western classical music through the presentation of high-quality concerts and music education for children. Recently she volunteered to help with the annual Tata Literature Live Festival, Mumbai’s largest international literature festival.
Benegal is married to master filmmaker Shyam Benegal.
OTTO ADLER (SWITZERLAND)
An accomplished filmmaker and international specialist with decades of experience in the art of animation, Otto Alder regularly serves on international juries and selection committees. He also curates animation programmes for festivals all over the world. His first roles were co-director of the animation programmes at the Stuttgart International Animation Festival (1987 – 1992) and director of the animation programs at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (1992 – 2005).
Alder was co-founder and co-director of Switzerland’s Fantoche International Animation Festival (1994 – 2004), and also directed the animation programmes at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia (1999- 2002) and the Tough Eye International Turku Animated Film Festival in Finland (2001-2003). In 2009 he was selected Honorary President of the Ottawa International Animation Festival in Canada.
In addition to creating his own films, photographs and installations, he became a professor in the animation department of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2005, and was the department’s codirector from 2004 to 2010.
Since 1988 he has been a member of the UNESCO-affiliated ASIFA (International Animated Film Association), an international association whose goal is to promote cultural understanding through the art of animation. He is also a member of the Society of Animation Studies, the Swiss Film Academy, and the Asia Pacific Screen Academy. Alder is the founder and artistic director of the Lucerne International Animation Academy
QUENTIN DEMPSTER AM (AUSTRALIA)
Quentin Dempster AM, is a broadcaster, journalist and author with 30 years’ extensive experience in television and print. He is the current presenter of the ABC’s 7.30 NSW. He started work as a cadet journalist on The Maryborough Chronicle, a Queensland regional daily, and moved to The Telegraph, a Brisbane afternoon daily where after police, courts and industrial rounds he became chief political reporter and columnist.
He was Queensland president of the Australian Journalists’ Association from 1975 to 1984 and in 1982 he was awarded the AJA’s Gold Honour Badge for meritorious service. He joined the ABC in 1984.
Dempster is the author of several books: Honest Cops (1992 ABC Books), Whistleblowers (1997 ABC Books) and Death Struggle (2000 Allen and Unwin). In 1992, Dempster was awarded the Order of Australia for services to the media in the fields of journalism and current affairs. In November 2002 he was honoured with a Walkley Award for outstanding contribution to journalism. Dempster was a member of the Walkley Advisory Board from 2004 to 2010 and served as chairman from 2009-2010. He has also chaired the documentary judging panel for the Walkley Awards since its inception in 2011. In 2014 he returned as Chairman of the Board.
VIVIAN QU (PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA)
A Golden Bear-winning producer and key figure in the Chinese independent film circle, Vivian Qu has produced award-winning films such as Night Train (2007, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival), Knitting (2008, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival), and Longing for the Rain (2013, Rotterdam International Film Festival). Her latest producing work, Black Coal, Thin Ice, won the Golden Bear and a Silver Bear at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival. In 2013 Qu wrote and directed her first feature film, Trap Street, which received rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and New Directors/New Films at Lincoln Center/MoMA. With Trap Street, she won the Dragons & Tigers Award Special Mention at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at the Boston Independent Film Festival.
In 2014 Qu served on the International Jury for the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film at the 71st Venice Film Festival.