Freida Pinto, Michael Apted and Kerry Fox Added to Dubai International Film Festival Jury

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This year's Middle East event will dish out prizes across a slew of categories with a overall prize purse of more than $575,000.

LONDON – Freida Pinto, Michael Apted, Kerry Fox and Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Barreto are among the names signed up for jury duties during the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival.

The festival's Muhr Awards this year see over 80 films compete for over $575,000 in prize money across three categories – Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica.

Pinto and Al Khaja will be reporting for judging duty for the short film competitions in the Muhr Arab, Muhr AsiaAfrica and Muhr Emirati categories.

Apted, who is lined up to receive a lifetime achievement award from the festival, will head the Muhr Arab documentary jury with Jordanian documentarian Azza El Hassan and Chris Fujiwara artistic director of the Edinburgh international film festival (EIFF).

Brazilian filmmaker Barreto will preside over the Muhr Arab feature competition with Egyptian actor Asser Yassin, Tunisian film director Moufida Tlatli, Austrian Film Commission CEO Martin Schweighofer and author Adnan Madanat.

Judging the Muhr AsiaAfrica awards features category is jury president South Korean film director, novelist, and minister of culture Lee Chang-dong. Istanbul International Film Festival director Azize Tan, Iranian actress Fatemah Motamed-Aria, New Zealand actress Fox and Nigerian director and cinematographer Tunde Kelani will join him.

The Muhr AsiaAfrica documentary jury will be led by award-winning Palestinian documentarian Mai Masri at the helm and joined by South Korean documentarian Kim Dong-won and German filmmaker Bettina Blumner.

DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: "Each year, we strive to form our juries from multi-dimensional specialists who can bring the full weight of their knowledge and expertise to evaluating a highly competitive field. We are proud of the prominence that the Muhr Awards affords to filmmakers from emerging markets."

FIPRESCI, the international federation of film critics, will also present a brace of awards – feature and documentary -- during this year's DIFF with THR's film writer Karsten Kastelan presiding over the documentary decision.

The festival runs Dec. 9 through 16 and opens with Ang Lee's Life Of Pi.