The 9th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will showcase more than 160 films from 61 countries, in 43 languages featuring 52 world premieres, 14 international premieres, 73 Middle East premieres and 17 GCC premieres. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler […]
The 9th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will showcase more than 160 films from 61 countries, in 43 languages featuring 52 world premieres, 14 international premieres, 73 Middle East premieres and 17 GCC premieres.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the eight-day festival runs from December 9 to 16.
The festival opens with Academy Award Winner Ang Lees 3D adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi. The nightly red carpet gala screenings of the Arabian premieres include Bekas from Karzan Kadar and Wadjda by Haiffa Al Mansour. The Cinema of the World galas include Hitchcock and Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. The Gala premiere representing the Asia Africa Programe is World War II Epic Back to 1942 from director Feng Xiaogang. There is even an afternoon gala for younger film fans with the World Premiere of the movie Journey to the Christmas Star. The festival will close with Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or film Amour and the true story The Sapphires.
Festival goers can attend workshops and panels during DIFF which include The Broadcasters Day, Documentary Day and In Conversation events with established and up and coming filmmakers, industry professionals and leading journalists.
There are also networking sessions offering total script-to-screen support for emerging filmmakers, including talent development, co-production, post-production support and trade platform.
The Lifetime Achievement Awards this year will be presented to veteran Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdul Aziz and prolific British director Michael Apted for their contributions to the world of cinema.
Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of Dubai International Film Festival, said: This year half of our festival is dedicated to an exciting showcase of films, features and shorts from the Arab world. DIFF is a home-grown brand, deeply rooted in the UAE and we take great pride in our Arab heritage whilst continuously striding to strengthen intercultural dialogue.
With prize money of more than USD 575, 000, the Muhr Awards will showcase 83 films that compete across three categories Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica. Arabic features will also be eligible for a variety of prestigious global awards including the FIPRESCI International Prize of the Critics Award.
Many of our entries are return visitors to DIFF, either in the Muhr Arab or Arabian Nights categories, and we pride ourselves on being able to nurture regional filmmaking by providing a platform for them to present their stories to the world, said Masoud Amralla Al Ali, DIFF’s Artistic Director.
Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett will join the jury to select the winner for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award on December 10th, which offers a US$ 100,000 cash prize.
Later in the week, Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth and his fashion entrepreneur wife Livia will be supporting the annual One Night to Change Lives charity event to benefit Oxfam and Dubai Cares on December 14th. Last year’s event raised over USD 1 million, funding 14 regional schools and 10 schools in Pakistan.
Commenting on the festival, Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director, said: Every year we maintain such a high level of films and filmmakers and this year is no different. Over and above the 8 days of the Festival DIFF has grown to become so much more than a showcase of films and glamorous events. Dubai Film Market (DFM) is central to the Festival offer. Since 2005 we have supported over 170 films through our various initiatives providing real support to Arab filmmakers. The eclectic mix being showcased during DIFF are the heart and soul of the festival, while DFM is the energy which allows it to grow and prosper year after year.
A core element of DIFF ‘s script-to-screen initiative, the Dubai Film Market, Enjaaz provides post-production support for up to US$100,000 per film to help filmmakers complete their projects and achieve the desired quality for their films. There are two funding cycles a year, in February and August, and the resources to support up to fifteen projects annually.
Thirteen of these films from the Arab world and Arab filmmakers have been selected this year from among Enjaaz February and August cycles. The films will screen throughout the 2012 festival.
Five of Enjaaz 2012 projects will be available as WIP films in the Filmmart, the Middle East’s only state-of-the-art digital platform which looks to facilitate the sales and distribution of films.
“As filmmakers near the completion of their films, they often find that their budget has been exhausted. Enjaaz steps in at the crucial post-production phase, providing filmmakers with the resources to create the atmosphere, look and feel they envisioned for their films. Since 2009, Enjaaz has supported nearly 50 Arab and Arab-origin films, and we are delighted to see more innovative projects, gripping storylines and brave ideas,” added Pandya.