You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Festival Vet Sheila Whitaker Dies in London

Film scholar headed international programs for Dubai

Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London.

She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990.

Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival since the fest’s beginning in 2004.

“She dedicated her life to understanding the emerging cinema…From the Arab world, Iran, and Latin America. She engaged with the people of those regions, with their culture and true nature,” wrote the artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali on the Dubai fest’s website.

A lifetime lover of film, she headed the British National Film Archive collection of stills and posters and co-edited “Life and Art: The New Iranian Cinema” and “An Argentine Passion: The Films of Maria Luisa Bemberg.” She served on festival juries from Venice to Syria and was also founding editor of “Writing Women,” a journal of women’s writing. In addition, she wrote obituaries of entertainment figures for the Guardian newspaper.

She was awarded a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Newcastle and an Honorary Doctorate of Law by the University of Warwick.

 

More Film

  • Wonderstruck

    ‘Wonderstruck’ Colorist Joe Gawler on How Film's Multi-Period Look Was Created

    Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London. She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990. Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival […]

  • Sarah Jones

    ICG President Steven Poster Pushes On-Set Safety, Slams Government’s Anti-Union Stance

    Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London. She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990. Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival […]

  • Isle of Dogs

    Production Designer Adam Stockhausen on Building Wes Anderson's Worlds

    Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London. She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990. Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival […]

  • On Body and Soul Hungarian Movie

    Hungary's 'On Body and Soul' Wins Top Award at Camerimage Film Festival

    Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London. She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990. Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival […]

  • 'Incredibles 2' Gets First Teaser Trailer

    'Incredibles 2' Gets First Teaser Trailer From Disney-Pixar

    Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London. She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990. Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival […]

  • John Bailey Academy President

    Academy President John Bailey on Extending Oscars' Global Reach

    Sheila Whitaker, who served as director of international programs for the Dubai International Film Festival, died Monday in London. She was previously director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theater in London from 1984 to 1990. Whitaker had been working with the Dubai festival […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content