Stephen earned his BA in Anthropology (Hon) and Philosophy at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, US and went on to complete an MA and PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at The University of Chicago. Over the course of the last thirty years his work has focused on Tamil speaking south India. He has worked on various research projects relating to the history and ethnography of media including Tamil cinema, film exhibition, drama, music, gramophone, radio, popular publishing, election campaigns and the emergence of satellite TV. Since joining SOAS in 1997 his teaching has focused on the Anthropology of Media, ethnographic and documentary film, social theory and South Asia. This year Steve is also the Chair of the Judges at the festival.
John Paul Davidson spent two years as a Commonwealth Scholar in Malaysia, after which he made Malay Magic for the BBC’s World About Us. He then spent 15 years specialising in making anthropological films before leaving to make The Grotesque starring Alan Bates, Sting, Lena Headey, and Jim Carter. Drama- documentaries Galahad Of Everest with Brian Blessed, Catherine the Great and Seve-the movie were interspersed with filmed portraits of Gore Vidal, Jean Genet, The Dalai Lama, Hugh Laurie, Brazilian transvestites, Venetian gondoliers, Hmong opium harvesters and Mosuo matriarchs amongst many other. He has made the last four series with Michael Palin travelling across the Sahara, the Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil filming many indigenous peoples. With Stephen Fry he travelled across all of the USA, through Central America, and delved into language in all its manifestations in Planet Word.
Barberine Feinberg has worked at the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) since the early 1980s. A graduate in Linguistic Anthropology and in Cinema Studies from Paris V and Paris VII Universities, she has served as a production manager at the CNRS Film Unit for over 20 years. In addition she worked on sound recording and as a programmer for the Paris Festival of Science Films. She started to work with the Comité du Film Ethnographique in 2009. As co-director of the Jean Rouch International Film Festival, she is in charge of the international competition and programmer of other non-competitive programmes as well as the Jean Rouch Festival on tour.