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Lee Daniels will head the jury of the Dubai Film Festival’s Muhr feature competition dedicated to Arab filmmakers.

The American multihyphenate, best known as the director of “Precious” and “The Butler,” will be visiting the Emirates for the first time to judge a lineup comprising acclaimed Egyptian helmer Daoud Abdel Sayed’s supernatural drama “Out Of The Ordinary,” Algerian helmer Yacine Mohamed Benelhadj’s thriller “I’m Dead,” and Moroccan auteur Hicham Lasri’s “The Sea is Behind,” about a male Moroccan cross-dressing entertainer, among other titles.

Dubai fest artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali in a statement praised Daniels for being “unconventional, yet commercially minded; a compassionate and honest artist who has created a niche for himself within Hollywood.”

This year Dubai has partnered with local distributors Gulf Film, Vox, Front Row Filmed Entertainment and the Kuwait National Cinema Co. on an initiative under which each of these distributors will pick at least one Arab title screening at the fest and secure its theatrical distribution in the region.

The Dubai fest’s 11th edition will run December 10-17.