I am very honoured to have been chosen as one of the jury members of the Beirut International Film Festival taking place from the 2nd to the 10th of October 2013. When I arrived in the Arab world 20 years ago there were very few locally made films outside countries like Egypt and there were even fewer documentaries made by Arabs for Arabs talking about topics and issues which are important to society as a whole. I am happy to say that today the story is very different and the plethora of films and subjects I have been watching are a breath of fresh air. On the whole I have found that in the documentary genre especially story structures are tighter and production values are high, not to mention the overall polished professionalism that the film makers are exhibiting. I am very proud to be able to see this evolution. I hope that many of you will be able to join us at the BIFF. Looking forward to seeing you there.