Even as world headlines from the Middle East focus on upheaval and violence, the region's culture continues to thrive. Here's our look at some groups and individuals making their mark on arts and culture in the region, in no particular order.
Joseph Cedar, Israel
In Israeli director Joseph Cedar's film, Footnote, a father and son are pitted against each other as competitive Talmudic Studies professors. Cedar's fourth feature, it received both popular and critical praise and has been described as satire, comedy and even tragedy, defying a single form, and exhibiting Cedar's versatility. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 2012.