Owen Bennett-Jones is one of the hosts of Newshour on the BBC World Service. As a former BBC correspondent having been based in several countries, he also regularly reports from around the world. Bennett-Jones has written for several British newspapers, including The Guardian, Financial Times and The Independent, as well as the London Review of Books. He has also been a presenter of many programmes on the BBC World Service as well as a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. Bennett-Jones was educated at Canford School, in Dorset. He had graduated from London School of Economics. In 1983, he obtained his MPhil in politics from St Antony’s College, Oxford. He did his PhD from University of Hull. In 2008, he won the Sony Radio Gold Award in the News Journalist of the Year. In 2009, he was the Commonwealth journalist of the year.
Talal Al-Muhanna is a film and TV producer of documentary and fiction films by filmmakers of Arab descent. Films produced have screened at numerous festivals internationally, won awards and have aired in USA, Europe and the Middle East on World Channel (USA), TV5Monde, Arte/ZDF (France/Germany), NTR (Netherlands), YLE (Finland), DRK (Denmark), SVT (Sweden), NRK (Norway) and KTV (Kuwait). Talal’s projects have been supported by Tribeca Documentary Fund, Cinereach, Sundance (USA); Sanad and Enjaaz (UAE); Visions Sud Est (Switzerland); AFAC & Screen Institute (Lebanon); and Creative Europe and Eurimages. Recent coproductions include “Egyptian Jeanne d’Arc” (dir. Iman Kamel) and “Kindil el Bahr” (dir. Damien Ounouri). Talal has served on film juries for Beirut Film Station, La Femis/Gulf Summer University and Talents Beirut and has been a Producing Fellow at the Center for Asian American Media. His company, Linked Productions, is based in New York with an affiliate company in Kuwait.
Özge Calafato has worked for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) as Programming Manager and served as a selection committee member for the SANAD Development and Post-Production Fund. She has also worked as a programmer and consultant for a number film festivals and institutions including DOK Leipzig, DokuFest, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Punto de Vista, Imagine Science, and Cinema Akil. She is a co-founder and project director of the UAE National Film Library and Archive. Since 1999, she has worked as a journalist, editor and translator for several magazines focusing on photography, literature, contemporary art, film, jazz and travel. She has authored five books and translated several others. She currently works as the Project Manager for the Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi and Programming Consultant for the Imagine Science Film Festival.