Dubai International Film Festival
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2012)|
|Dubai International Film Festival
مهرجان دبي السينمائي الدولي
|Location||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) (Arabic: مهرجان دبي السينمائي الدولي) is an annual film festival held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Each year DIFF presents new and exciting cinema from the Arab world, Asia, Africa and beyond. The tenth edition will be held from December 6 to 14, 2013.[dated info]
The DIFF is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organised by Dubai Entertainment & Media Organization.
Launched in 2004, the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the oldest film festival in the Gulf region. It is guided by the credo "Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds." by showcasing short films and features in fiction and non-fiction narratives from around the world.
The festival's prestigious Muhr Emirati, Arab and AsiaAfrica Awards recognise outstanding talent from the region, presenting over US$575,000 in prize money to Muhr Award winners. The DIFF has also pioneered several industry initiatives within its Dubai Film Market designed to support and develop the Arab cinema industry. The Market runs concurrently with the festival and is attended annually by over 1,700 delegates from more than 90 countries.
The DIFF's highly acclaimed film programme presents cinema from around the world encompassing a range of topical and universal themes.
In 2012 DIFF screened a line-up of 158 feature films, shorts and documentaries from around the world including 49 world premieres, 15 international premieres and the festival reported its highest attendance record to date.
Opening the 2012 Festival was the Middle East Premiere of Ang Lee’s Oscar winning 3D adaptation of the hugely popular Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi.
The films, from 61 countries, in 43 languages, spanned the DIFF's prestigious competition and popular out-of-competition segments, attracting more than 50,000 in audience attendance.
The line-up this year was selected from 2,100 submissions from 115 countries and was considered to the most remarkable, competitive and diverse selection to date.
Out of Competition
DIFF's out-of-competition selection is as diverse as it is unique.
• Arabian Nights • Gulf Voices • Cinema of the World • Celebration of Indian Cinema • Cinema of AsiaAfrica • Cinema for Children
Each year, the programme incorporates a special In Focus section. Previous In Focus sections have showcased cinema from China, Italy, France, Mexico and Germany.
The festival's Rhythm & Reels concept, a first in the region, follows film screenings with a live music performance.
Since 2006, the Muhr Awards have honoured more than 190 Emirati, Arab, Asian and African film-makers and talent. The competition and awards have raised the profile of the winners and made DIFF a destination to discover the best of the region's cinema.
Adjudicated by prestigious juries that bring together esteemed international and regional talent, the Muhr Awards present 31 honours and disburses prize money of more than $575,000(USD).
The categories include:
• Muhr Arab Feature • Muhr Arab Documentary • Muhr Arab Short • Muhr Emirati • Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature • Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary • Muhr AsiaAfrica Short
Each year, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) presents the annual "Prize of International Critics" for Arab feature films, documentaries and short screened at DIFF.
People's Choice Award
The festival's People's Choice Award honors the best film, as adjudicated by the audiences.
Variety International Star of the Year
Since 2009, Variety has presented its ‘International Star of the Year’ award at DIFF. Recipients of the award have included Owen Wilson, Gerard Butler and Colin Firth.
IWC Filmmaker Award
In 2012, the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award was launched with a cash prize of US$ 100,000 offering the financial means to help the winning filmmaker transfer their vision to the screen. Cate Blanchett headed the jury and was joined by Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of DIFF and Olivier Père, General Director of Paris-based Arte France Cinema. The award was won by filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi, director of “Nothing Doing in Baghdad”.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Each year, DIFF honours several legends from the Arab world, Asia/Africa and the West for their outstanding contribution to cinema. In 2012 the honorees were Award-winning actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and Director Michael Apted.
Previous recipients of DIFF's Lifetime Achievement Awards include: • Morgan Freeman (2005) • Omar Sharif, Oliver Stone, Nabil Maleh, Shahrukh Khan (2006) • Danny Glover, Im Kwon-taek, Youssef Chahine (2007) • Terry Gilliam, Rachid Bouchareb, Charles Roven (2008) • Tsui Hark, Amitabh Bachchan, Faten Hamama (2009) • Souleymane Cissé, Sabah, Sean Penn (2010) • Gamil Ratib, A. R. Rahman, Werner Herzog (2011) • Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Michael Apted (2012)
Dubai Film Market: "From Script to Screen"
The Dubai Film Market is the business centre of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). It is the leading industry platform in the world dedicated to Arab cinema and is attended annually by over 1,700 industry professionals from more than 90 countries.
It is the destination to discover the best cinema from the region and has established a number of pioneering initiatives to support and showcase Arab film-makers.
The Market's initiatives cover every aspect of cinema - from script to screen – from talent and professional development through to film sales. The Market comprises
• Film Forum • Dubai Film Connection • Filmmart • Enjaaz • Exchange
The 2012 festival opened with Life of Pi, a 3D adaptation of the beloved novel by Yann Martel and helmed by visionary director Ang Lee. The films young up-and-coming actors Suraj Sharma, Adil Hussain and Shravanthi Sainath, graced the DIFF red carpet at the gala screening.
Other celebrities in attendance throughout the week were Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Livia Firth, Amr Waked, Freida Pinto, Rooney Mara, Kirsten Davis, Amr Waked, Bryan Ferry and from the Arab world the line-up included: Laila Eloui, Nelly, Khaled El Nabawy, Ezzat Abu Ouf, Salah El Sadany, and Hassan Hosny.
Other DIFF 2012 red carpet gala screenings included Bekas, Wadjda, Hitchcock, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, Amour, Back to 1942, The Sapphires and Journey to the Christmas Star.
Previous editions have been graced by A-listers including Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Anil Kapoor, Brad Bird Colin Firth, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, George Clooney, Oliver Stone, Nicolas Cage, Gerard Butler, Salma Hayek, Orlando Bloom, Terry Gilliam, Richard Gere, HM Queen Noor of Jordan, Omar Sharif, Adel Imam, Duraid Lahham, Daoud Abdul Sayed, Hussein Fahmi, Ben Affleck, Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Freida Pinto and Giancarlo Giannini, among others.