Roland Joffé – Head of Jury

Palme d’Or Winner and Oscar® nominated director Roland Joffé will be heading the international jury of the first edition of the Valletta Film Festival.

Joffé is one of the few directors—if any—to enter the cinematic medium with Oscar® nominations for each of his first two motion pictures. It marked an auspicious beginning for Roland Joffé as he was universally praised for his international style of moviemaking on ‘The Killing Fields‘ and ‘The Mission‘. Joffé also immediately endeared himself to Hollywood as a filmmaker par excellence in his choice of material.

As Head of the Jury at the Valletta Film Festival, Joffé will be joined by four other filmmakers and critics composing the international jury (final jury members will be announced on 23rd May 2015). Together they will be viewing and considering the independently produced films competing in the Official Competition for the awards of Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress and Best Cinematography.


Joffé found his initial success with two episodes of “Play for Today,” namely “The Spongers” and “United Kingdom,” featuring Colin Welland. For the latter show, Joffé was nominated for a BAFTA. This laid the groundwork for his first film, The Killing Fields, a frighteningly realistic depiction of a Cambodia torn apart by war and terrorism.

With unanimous raves from domestic and international critics alike, the memoirs of New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg gave movie-going audiences a reality seldom seen on the screen. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences acknowledged Joffé with his first of two Best Director nominations and his filmmaking future was assured. Nominations for the Golden Globe®, BAFTA and Critics Circle Awards bear testimony to his outstanding work on this film.

The director’s second feature, The Mission, is hailed as a sweeping, cinematically beautiful historical drama about an 18th-century Jesuit mission in the Brazilian jungle. The film was the recipient of seven Oscar® nominations, including one for Best Director. It was also awarded the coveted Palme d’Or as best motion picture at the Cannes Film Festival and won Italy’s Michelangelo Prize.

For City of Joy, an adaptation of Dominique LaPierre’s book, Joffé set off to India to film the tale of a disillusioned American heart surgeon who flees to Calcutta after losing a patient. Again, Joffé displayed his ability to take a personal story and analyze the dramatic effects the protagonist has on the lives of those around him.

Joffé has never been afraid of controversy. Passionate debates and massive media coverage followed The Scarlet Letter, his adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic. This was followed by the witty and pointed black comedy about moral relativism Goodbye Lover, starring Patricia Arquette and Don Johnson, and the sumptuous and moving Vatel, starring Gerard Depardieu and Uma Thurman.

Joffé’s latest film directorial project, Singularity, penned by Joffé, is an epic romance spanning centuries starring Josh Hartnett, Olga Kurylenko and Bipasha Basu. This May 2015, the much-anticipated Texas Rising miniseries, which Joffe directed, will air on The History Channel. Furthermore, Joffe has teamed up with Fremantle Media to develop Ugly, a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as developing The Archbishop and The Antichrist as a feature film.

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