Suleiman served as a jury member at Cannes Film Festival in 2006. He was president of Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s New Horizons Competition in 2010, and was jury president at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in 2012, and the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2014.
He has been given tributes at the MoMA in New York and various events including Istanbul Film Festival, and Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival in Portugal. He was the recipient of the 1992 Rockefeller Award and the 2008 Prince Claus Award. In 2009, he was named the Variety magazine Middle East filmmaker of the year at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, where he was awarded the Black Pearl Award for “The Time That Remains.”
Suleiman’s debut feature film, “Chronicle of a Disappearance,” won the first film prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002, “Divine Intervention” won the jury prize and the Fipresci Intl. Critics Prize of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as the best foreign film prize at the European Film Awards in Rome. In 2007, he was chosen as one of the 35 directors of “To Each His Own Cinema,” a collective film for the Cannes Film Festival’s 60th anniversary. His last feature film, “The Time That Remains,” was in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. In 2012, he completed a short film titled “Diary of a Beginner,” part of a collective feature titled “7 Days in Havana.” The film was in the official selection of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
“Elia Suleiman is a filmmaker of stature, vision and most of all of hope not just for cinema but for civilization itself,” Downey said. “He is one of the most important artists in contemporary world cinema and his deft ability to move from tragi-comedy and comedy in exploring universal human issues as well as his commitment to peace, tolerance and justice makes him the ideal jury president for the 54th edition of the Antalya Intl. Film Festival. Elia’s talents range across a number of disciplines, as a writer, actor and director, and the poetry of his work allows bizarre insights not only into the realities of occupied Palestine but into the very nature of the human condition itself.”