Meet the 2014 Jury


Newton I. Aduaka
With Ezra, in 2007, Newton I. Aduaka won the Etalon d’or de Yennenga (the golden stallion of Yennenga), the highest honour for an African Film Maker at the festival of pan-African cinema, FESPACO. Ezra premiered in the World cinema competition at the Sundance film festival, was nominated for the Humanitas Prize and screened in a special section of the Critics’ Week in Cannes. Ezra has appeared in numerous film festivals and events across the world and has been awarded 28 times including 6 Grand Jury prizes and a Federation of International Film Critics (Fipresci) award. Ezra has been named as one of the most important anti-war films ever made. It was awarded the United Nation’s prize for Peace and Tolerance. In 2001 Newton’s debut feature film Rage, became the first wholly independently financed film by a black filmmaker in the history of British cinema to be released nation-wide. In the same year he was a recipient of the Carlton television multicultural award in the UK for Rage, which was acquired by Arte France and MNET.
In 2002 Newton was invited as Filmmaker in Residence by Festival de Cannes’ Cinéfondation in Paris. In the same year Aduaka was commissioned by the Society of French Directors (SRF) and the Cannes film festival’s Quinzaine des Réalisateurs to make a short film on “Cinema and Globalization”.  The result was Funeral - 2002.
In 2004 his short film Aïcha premiered in official competition at the Mostra de Venise. In 2004 and 2010 the organization, Global Dialogue, commissioned Aduaka to direct four short films on AIDS awareness. These films have been translated into numerous African languages, English, French and Portuguese and are effectively used as educational tools across the world. In 2007 Aduaka was invited to hold a Master class at the Cannes Film Festival. In the summer of 2007 Aduaka was invited to speak at TED, “Africa: The Next Chapter”, held in Arusha. His speech is available online at In 2008 the Berlin film festival invited him, as an expert, to speak on aesthetics of Cinema at the Berlinale Talent Campus.
Aduaka’s third feature film, One Man’s Show, premiered at Fespaco 2013, winning the Critics’ Prize. The film had its American premier at the Mill Valley Film festival. The British newspaper “The Independent” named Aduaka as one of the 50 best living African artists. Aduaka is currently residing in Paris.
Salem Mekuria
SALEM MEKURIA is the director of Mekuria Productions, an independent film production company established in 1987. She is also a professor in the Art Department at Wellesley College. She splits her residence between Ethiopia and the United States. Since 1987, she has been an independent writer, producer, director, videographer, and a video installation artist. Her award winning documentary films and video installations feature Ethiopian subjects and have been shown internationally. Salem directed “SQUARE STORIES” (2010), IMAGINING TOBIA" I and II, (2006, 2007), “RUPTURES”, 2007, "YE WONZ MAIBEL" (DELUGE), 1997, "SIDET: Forced Exile", 1991, "AS I REMEMBER IT", A Portrait of Dorothy West, 1991, "OUR PLACE IN THE SUN", 1988 are some of her completed works. Salem is currently working on her documentary about women’s voices and their struggle for empowerment. She is also preparing for her new feature film.


For me filmmaking is a way of being curious about the world I live in. It points me toward a personal inquiry. Through my scholarship and film work I join the community of international artists and filmmakers who are committed to questioning and exploring the power of visual representation, especially as it deals with representations of the history and memory of post-colonial identities. My work as a filmmaker and scholar is motivated by the need to find effective ways of communicating the stories and themes of exile, difference, the effects of global modernity on traditional systems and the struggle for justice and equal rights. I am keenly interested in processing these narratives through the stories and experiences of women in Africa and the African Diaspora. I am committed to representing these stories as challenges and journeys that are specific but also as universal experiences that can speak to all viewers. More on Salem Mekuria’s works can be found at

Taghreed Elsanhouri
Elsanhouri began her career in broadcast news and entertainment television. She is now practicing as an independent filmmaker and culture and outreach development consultant. Elsanhouri is the creator and artistic director of Cultural Healing a community video and dialogue project funded by the EU and implemented in Sudan in 2010 – 2013.  Our beloved Sudan the filmmaker’s 3rd independent documentary feature world premiered at the Dubai film festival in December 2011 and won Silver Jury award at the 1st Luxor African film festival 2012, it then went to feature at the acclaimed Lines of Control Exhibition and the Johnson Museum Ithaca, New York. Television projects include ‘Orphans of Mygoma,’ a short documentary commissioned by Aljazeera International for their ‘Witness’ documentary strand.

Her directorial debut ‘All about Darfur’ won the Award of Commendation from the American Anthropological Association in 2006 and the Chair Person’s prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (Ziff) 2005 and was selected at numerous film festivals including the Toronto international Film Festival 2005.

Xoliswa Sithole
Xoliswa Sithole is a producer/director making films about women and children in Africa with a focus on justice, human rights, and poverty. She began her career as an actress in anti-apartheid films before moving behind the camera as a director and producer where her work has garnered critical praise and several awards including the prestigious Peabody Award. Her powerful imagery and storytelling captures the life and voice of Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children, making this a film you don't want to miss. Xoliswa Sithole is the first South African to be awarded a British Academy Television Award. She was awarded for her involvement as associate producer on the documentary ORPHANS OF NKANDLA, which chronicles the effects of the AIDS pandemic on African children. Sithole made her mark with SHOUTING SILENT, a personal story of how AIDS has affected her family. Xoliswa Sithole is also, known for her films Cry Freedom and Mandela
Daniel Taye Worku
Daniel Taye Workou born in Berlin, Germany of Ethiopian descent currently lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as director/producer for BiraBiro Films.
With a Masters degree in International Relations he works at UNESCO in Paris. He then enters the graduate film program at Columbia University in New York and directs the music documentary "Concert for Peace" for PBS.

He works as director/producer for the music label “GNA” in New York where he produces music videos, promos, and concert films for musicians such as Wasis Diop, Mos Def, Richard Bona.
He is co-founder of the production company, BiraBiro Films in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Daniel's first fiction short film "Menged" premiers at the "Director's Fortnight" in Cannes 2006 and goes on to win numerous awards, among others the "Poulain d'Or de Yennenga" at FESPACO, 2007 and the "Crystal Bear" at the 2007 Berlinale.

BiraBiro Films has developed into one of the leading international production companies in Ethiopia in the past years. BiraBiro Films recent international co productions include the 35mm, feature film "Atletu" a biopic of the first African Olympic gold medal winner and national hero Abebe Bikila. The film directed by Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel was the first Ethiopian submission for the Academy Awards/OSCARS for the “Best Foreign Language Film” category. “Shattering Shadows” a poetic recount of of the events that forced an immigrant to leave his native country Ethiopia for Europe premiered in the “Bright Future” section at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2014.

Daniela Rofi
As a counselor for economic and cultural affairs of the European Delegation to Ethiopia Daniela Rofi is well acquainted with the landscape of African culture and cinema.  Daniela has a strong base in development, management and evaluation of cultural projects and programmes. Her experience of working in the cultural development field gave her a rich and unique insight into the current African cinema landscape.