Jury of the Competition Programme – Feature Film:
Director, producer, writer, USA
Michèle Ohayon is an award-winning director, writer and producer. She was born in Casablanca and raised in Israel. She graduated from the University of Tel Aviv (film and television). In 1984, she received the Israeli Best Film Award for PRESSURE. In 1987, she moved to Los Angeles, where she directed a succession of critically acclaimed dramatic and documentary features: IT WAS A WONDERFUL LIFE (1987), narrated by Jodie Foster with music by Melissa Etheridge, followed by the award-winning films COLORS STRAIGHT UP (1997), which was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary film, COWBOY DEL AMOR (2005). In 2007, Ohayon had completed work on a documentary STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME, which screened at the UN, and garnered the Audience Award at Sonoma Film Festival and the Yad Vashem Chairman Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
For her body of work, Michèle received the 1996 and the 1998 Artist’s Grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and was recognized for her fiction writing in the Chesterfield Writing Competition 2000. S.O.S/STATE OF SECURITY, Michèle’s newest feature documentary, opened in the Berlin Film Festival. She has been a guest speaker/lecturer at various schools and colleges.
Michèle is a founding board member of Cinewomen. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, the Writers Guild and the Producer’s Guild of America, as well as the International Documentary Association. In addition, Michele directed numerous TV shows and music videos, and has her own production company. She serves on juries of various festivals, including Berlin, Tel Aviv and Sarajevo.