Trailblazing film producer Dora Bouchoucha has been announced as a juror for the upcoming 77th edition of Venice International Film Festival. This marks the second time an Arab film industry professional has been tapped to join the panel of jurors, following fellow Tunisian Hend Sabry’s appointment to the jury in 2019. Bouchoucha will be judging for the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for best debut feature film, alongside Italian director Claudio Giovannesi, who will serve as president, and French artistic director Remi Bonhomme, who was recently appointed as artistic director for the Marrakesh International Film Festival.

In what seems to be a shift toward increased global recognition of the Arab world’s film industry in recent years, Bouchoucha’s work on Tunisian films It Was Better Tomorrow (2012), Hedi (2016) and Dear Son (2018), among others, has garnered international accolades, with recognition and wins from the likes of Berlin International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival and El Gouna Film Festival. It was at the latter where Bouchoucha was awarded a Career Achievement Award in 2018.

Bouchoucha’s latest work—a co-production with Egypt’s Sameh Awad, Mark Lotfi, Mohamed Hefzi—is Souad (2020), a film by Egyptian director Ayten Amin. Announced as part of Cannes Film Festival 2020’s Official Selection, despite the festival’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The feature film explores the topics of teenage suicide and the effects of social media in Egypt’s under-represented and under-reported rural areas.

Image: Dora Bouchoucha shot by Michael Schwartz for Vs. Magazine.