Diana El Jeiroudi

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Diana El Jeiroudi
ديانا الجيرودي
Syrian Filmmaker Diana Eljeiroudi.jpg
Born Damascus, Syria
Years active 2002—present
Spouse(s) Orwa Nyrabia
Awards Katrin Cartlidge Award (2012)
European Documentary Award (2012)

Diana El Jeiroudi (a.k.a. Diana Aljeiroudi), (Arabic: ديانا الجيرودي‎; born 15 January 1977)[1] is an award-winning, Berlin-based, Syrian independent documentary film director, producer and co-founder of DOX BOX International Documentary Film Festival in Syria and DOX BOX e.V. non-profit association in Germany.[2] El Jeiroudi was the first Syrian to be a juror in Cannes Film Festival in 2014, when she was part of the first Documentary Film Award jury in the festival. Together with her partner Orwa Nyrabia, El Jeiroudi was also the first Syrian known to be invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2017[3].


El Jeiroudi graduated with a degree of Arts and Humanities from the Damascus University, Syria . From 1998 to 2002, El Jeiroudi worked in Marketing and Advertising, for some highly acclaimed international agencies, before starting up Proaction Film, an independent film production outfit in Damascus, with her partner Orwa Nyrabia. El Jeiroudi also received professional training in film producing and distribution at the INA/Sorbonne in France.[4]


After she started a very promising career in the field of marketing, in 2002, El Jeiroudi launched a film production company with Partner Orwa Nyrabia. Her first film as film director was The Pot (2005), a short experimental documentary film that premiered in the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in Japan and then, screened in more than 60 countries, and received high critical acclaim.[5]

Her second film was entitled Dolls, A Woman from Damascus (2008), was premiered in IDFA and screened in Visions du Réel, Montpellier Cinemed Festival,[6] Copenhagen International Documentary Festival and others in more than 40 countries worldwide.[7]

Dolls, A Woman from Damascus was very well received by critics too, CounterPunch wrote: "Sometimes there is a film that encapsulates all the tensions and contradictions of a people and a state. This is the merit of Diana El Jeiroudi’s documentary film about the situation of women, the advent of consumer society and the growing influence of Muslim fundamentalism in Syria." [8]

In 2017 it was made public that she made a third documentary, co-directed with her long-term collaborator, Syrian photographer and activist Guevara Namer, in 2012. The short film, entitled Morning Fears, Night Chants was premiered in IDFA in 2012 with a crew list made entirely of alias names, and told the story of a young Syrian female singer-songwriter living under danger of prosecution in Damascus.[9]

El Jeiroudi's films were also shown in art events and venues, including Kunsthalle Wien, Berlin State Museums, Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan,[10] among others.

As producer of documentary film, El Jeiroudi worked on various successful projects, including Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait, which premiered in 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and awarded a Grierson Awards in the BFI London Film Festival 2014, and The Mulberry House, by Scottish-Yemeni Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sara Ishaq, premiered in IDFA 2013 then released theatrically in Austria and Spain. El Jeiroudi was also one of the producers of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner documentary The Return to Homs.

In her other capacity, as a documentary film promoter and trainer, El Jeiroudi headed DOX BOX's professional activities side, through which she managed to make the festival the region's most remarkable documentary film platform.[11] She and her partner Orwa Nyrabia, launched DOX BOX in early 2008. The international documentary film festival grew quickly into the most important documentary film gathering in the Arab World.[12] The festival started with screenings in Damascus cinemas but from 2009 on screenings were expanded to other Syrian cities including Homs and Tartus. Along with the annual festival, many workshops and activities were offered to young Syrian filmmakers. The fifth edition of the festival, planned for March 2012, was cancelled in protest of the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters during the ongoing Syrian uprising. Instead, El Jeiroudi advocated for Syrian documentary films to be shown in festivals around the world in what was termed the "Dox Box Global Day." The aim, according to the DOX BOX website, was to show "how poverty, oppression and isolation do not prevent humans from being spectacularly brave, stubborn and dignified."[13] Her work with DOX BOX earned her and her partner, Orwa Nyrabia, several awards including the Katrin Cartlidge Award and the European Documentary Network's Award in 2012.[12]

In 2014, after moving to Berlin, El Jeiroudi announced the creation of DOX BOX e.V., a non-profit association aimed at the support, promotion and education of a new generation of documentary makers in the Arab World,[14] in addition to being a co-founder and general manager of the association, El Jeiroudi continued to produce and direct films herself too.

In 2015, El Jeiroudi was one of the jury members for the first-ever documentary film award "L'Œil d'or" or "The Golden Eye" in 2015 Cannes Film Festival, she served on juries of various festivals, including IDFA, One World Film Festival in Prague... among others.[15] El Jeiroudi is a member of the Deutsche Filmakademie.[16]


  1. ^ "Diana El-Jeiroudi talks about "Veiled Barbie Dolls" - Cinema Without Borders". cinemawithoutborders.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  2. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Pop-up exhibit in Berlin brings together Syrian artists in exile | Culture | DW.COM | 28.10.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  3. ^ "AMPAS New Members - Class 2017". Oscars.org. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "Diana El-Jeiroudi talks about "Veiled Barbie Dolls"". cinemawithoutborders.com. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Pot by Diana El Jeiroudi". Goethe-Institut. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dolls , A Woman from Damascus in the Montpellier CInemed Festival Program". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Diana El-Jeiroudi talks about "Veiled Barbie Dolls"". Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Syria and the Arab Barbie Doll–Before the Deluge". CounterPunch. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Morning Fears, Night Chants". IMDB. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Program of Asian Art Biennal 2009". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Dox Box Damascus 12". Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Sarajevo Film Festival – Diana El Jeiroudi and Orwa Nyrabia Winners of the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Scholarship". Sarajevo Film Festival. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Bank, Charlotte (29 August 2012). "The Hunt for Awkward Cultural Activists – Qantara.de". Qantara.de. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  14. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (9 December 2013). "Proaction to launch Syrian Film Institute". ScreenDaliy.com. 
  15. ^ "News from Proaction Film". 9 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "Member Profile, Diana El Jeiroudi". Deutsche Filmakademie. 

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