Tim Grierson is a film and music critic whose writing has appeared in Screen International, Paste, Playboy, L.A. Weekly, Backstage, The Village Voice and Gawker. He is the author of four books, including FilmCraft: Screenwriting, a profile of the world’s greatest screenwriters. Grierson has served on the jury for the Los Angeles Film Festival and the City of Lights, City of Angels (COL•COA) Film Festival, and he is currently vice president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Priya Jaikumar is an associate professor in the department of dritical studies at the University of Southern California. Professor Jaikumar is a historian and theorist focusing on the cinema of colonial and postcolonial eras. She is the author of Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India.

Ed Rampell is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer, film critic and historian. He is the co-author of four books and the author of Progressive Hollywood: A People’s Film History of the United States. Rampell is a contributor to a number of publications including the American film news websites and journals, Variety, Cineaste and Television Quarterly.

Hany Abu-Assad is an award-winning Palestinian director. His film Omar, set in the West Bank, won an Oscar nomination this year for the category of Best Foreign Language Film. His film Paradise Now earned Palestine its first Oscar nomination in 2006 and won a Golden Globe for best-foreign language film. Omar is the first film fully funded by the Palestinian film industry. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard and won its jury prize.

Anurag Kashyap is a well-known Bollywood director, producer and writer of a number of commercially and critically successful films. He has directed 16 films including Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 and Part 2 (both released in 2012),  Dev D, That Girl in Yellow Boots and Black Friday. At Cannes in 2013 Kashyap was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for his contribution to promoting Indian cinema.

Bob Swaim is a US-born film director based in Paris and the director of the international department at the International Film and Television School. His film, La Balance (1982) had nine César nominations and won the award for best picture. He has won the UNICEF Grand Prix for best feature at the Berlin Festival. Swaim has spent more than 30 years directing, writing and producing films in Europe and in Hollywood.

John Hillcoat is an Australian director based in Los Angeles. Hillcoat is the director of Lawless (which competed for Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival), The Road (the 2009 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book by the same name) and The Proposition. Hillcoat has worked with major Hollywood actors such as Viggo Mortensen, Shia LaBeouf, and Jessica Chastain.

Nicholas Weinstock is a studio executive and president of Invention Films, a movie and television company in Los Angeles, and as of last year, a creative head at Lionsgate TV who produces comedies. Weinstock has worked as a film producer with Fox lot and a comedy development executive at 20th Century Fox TV and Judd Apatow Productions. He has been involved with the films Bridesmaids, Get Him to the Greek and Pineapple Express .

Oliver Stone is an Academy Award-winning director and writer known for his films Platoon, Natural Born Killers, Nixon  and JFK,  among others. Stone’s films often look at historical events and, in recent years, he has made the documentary film South of the Border (2009), in which he interviewed Latin American leaders including Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro. He also made the 10-part documentary series Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States (2012), which is an alternative take on American events in the 20th century.

Ronnie Screwvala is one of India’s most well-known entrepreneurs and the founder of the media and entertainment group, UTV, which is now owned by The Walt Disney Company. For two years, until the end of last year, he was the managing director of Disney-UTV India. Screwvala has been a major figure in the Indian cinema industry, and has produced or co-produced almost 70 films including Bollywood successes Peepli Live, Dev D, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Chennai Express.

Joshua Oppenheimer is an American film director based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, that centres on Indonesian death squad leaders who killed thousands of Communists in the 1960s, was recently awarded a BAFTA, and has been nominated for an Oscar for best documentary. Oppenheimer is a senior researcher at the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Genocide and Genre project. According to the documentary website, Oppenheimer has spent more than a decade with "militias, death squads and their victims to explore the relationship between political violence and the public imagination".

Empire can be seen from the last Sunday of every month at 2000GMT, and is re-aired during the following week at these times GMT: Monday: 1200GMT; Tuesday: 0100GMT; Wednesday: 0600GMT.

Click here for more Empire.

Source: Al Jazeera