Dubai Film Fest Pioneer Sheila Whitaker dies
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) suffered a blow with the tragic loss of one its pioneers, Sheila Whitaker, who passed away in London. She was reportedly suffering from a long, undisclosed illness. The former director of international programming at DIFF had been working with the festival since its inception in 2004 and played an integral role in hosting Hollywood’s A-list celebrities including George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Oliver Stone and many more.
Whitaker was a well-respected personality in the festival circuit, having previously been the director of the London Film Festival from 1987 to 1996, and head of programming at the National Film Theatre in London from 1984 to 1990. A well-known writer and festival consultant, she has served on numerous international festival juries.