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Dubai International Film Festival

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the region. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 12th edition of DIFF will take place from December 9-16, 2015. For more updatd information about diff, please visit


Dubai Film Market Strengthens Its Initiatives to Promote Arab Cinema

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced the Dubai Film Market’s (DFM) plans to strengthen its programme to further support filmmakers, develop a thriving film culture in the region, build a sustainable industry and promote Arab cinema on an international platform for the 12th edition which runs from December 9-16, 2015.

The Dubai Film Connection (DFC), the region’s co-production market will return to the DFM. Launched in 2007, the DFC raised the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulated the growth of independent film production in the region. Over the years, numerous past DFC projects have found critical acclaim around the world.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director said: “We’re very excited to reinstate the Dubai Film Connection. The filmmakers and industry professionals wanted it back and we listened. By offering the right networking and support opportunities the DFC opens doors for Arab talent to promote and develop their film projects and it becomes a platform for producers and funds to find the best Arab projects ready for production.

The DFC is now open for submissions for feature-length fiction and documentary projects in development by directors of Arab nationality or origin. The co-production market introduces Arab filmmakers to regional and international film backers and organisations. Deadline for submission is August 1st, 2015 and details are available at Enjaaz, the Dubai Film Market’s post-production and production support programme continues to go from strength to strength, lending invaluable backing to a further ten of the region’s filmmakers.

The latest recipients of Enjaaz funding include: Mahmoud Al Massad’s Blessed Benefit, Jihane Chouaib’s Breathe, Halkawt Mustafa’s El Clasico, Fares Naanaa’s Borders of Heaven, Fawzi Saleh’s Fish Killed Twice, Mai Masri’s 3000 Nights, Hany Abu Assad’s Arab Idol, Afraa Batous’s Skin, Maryanne Zéhil’s The Other Side of November and Hakim Belabbes’s Weight of the Shadow. Enjaaz is central to the DFM’s strategy of developing the regional film industry by discovering and supporting filmmaking talent. By enabling more films to get realised, Enjaaz serves to diversify the choice of Arab films available to audiences.

A total of 17 films supported by Enjaaz were screened at the 11th edition of DIFF and more than 110 films have benefitted from the programme since its inception. Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, the Official ‘Festival-Time’ Partner of the DIFF, continue their support with the highly anticipated fourth IWC Filmmaker Award offering a cash prize of $100,000 which will help the winning filmmaker bring their ideas to life on screen.

This collaboration reinforces IWC’s global commitment to promoting the film-making industry and supporting talent in cinema with submissions opening later this month. The DFM’s most recent initiative, the Dubai Distribution Programme (DDP) launched last year to promote and facilitate the distribution of Arab films has achieved success with local, regional and international titles being picked up from DIFF’s 2014 film programme.

The DDP has expanded this year to offer greater opportunity for independent filmmakers to obtain distribution and showcase their films to a wider audience by screening films at MIPTV, the largest global distribution market and at the Cannes International Film Festival.

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About Dubai International Film Festival

Wilcox Alison
(Dubai International Film Festival)

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 12th edition of DIFF will take place from December 9-16, 2015.

DIFF has established itself as a major international festival, while continuing to serve as a premier showcase event for Arab cinema, and contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry.

DIFF’s pioneering initiatives such as the Muhr Awards, Dubai Film Connection and Dubai Film Market have enriched professional experiences in the region, while also raising the profile of regional works on the world stage.

The festival has left an indelible impression on its guests, industry professionals and viewers, through its events, workshops, seminars and principal mandate of presenting the finest selection of cinema from all over the world. DIFF is a frontrunner in promoting better cultural understanding through creative achievements in film.


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