Venue: Madinat Jumirah, Dubai
The Dubai International Film Festival, the foremost event in Dubai’s cultural calendar, today announced the dates for its sixth edition, to run from December 9 to 16, 2009.
Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF’s Chairman, stated: “Our fifth edition was a milestone for us, and we are thrilled that there was such an enthusiastic response to our programming and initiatives. With every year we have introduced new elements to enhance the overall festival experience, providing the best in international cinema culture for our UAE audiences, who have backed the festival since the beginning. We look forward to another promising December.”
Terry Gilliam, one of the recipients of DIFF Honourees for 2008 was recently awarded the BAFTA Fellowship, considered the highest accolade at the award ceremony in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. One Man Village and Amreeka, films supported by the Dubai Film Connection made it to Berlinale and Sundance Film Festivals respectively. 2008 Film line-up included award winning and critically successful productions such as Slumdog Millionaire, Rachel Getting Married, Gomorra and The Wrestler.
The 2008 festival built on the successes of the past years and introduced strong new initiatives, such as the revolutionary Dubai Film Market, a state of the art content-trading platform that spurred several high-level agreements between regional and international film professionals.
The Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema, in its third successful year, gained a sibling prize in 2008, the Muhr AsiaAfrica Competition, which garnered 450 entries in its first year. Prize amounts for both segments amounted to almost USD 576, 000, among the most generous cash prizes in international film festivals.
More than 900 films from the Arab world, Asia and Africa will compete for the region’s leading film honours, the 2009 Muhr Awards, during the sixth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival this December.
The entries are from more than 60 nations across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Europe. The documentaries, short films and feature films will compete for 28 prizes in acting, cinematography, editing, music and scriptwriting in addition to jury and general excellence awards.
Together, the DIFF Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards offer more than US$575,000 in prize money, in addition to the acclaim of a prestigious international jury.
The Muhr AsiaAfrica competition, currently in its second year, received over 513 entries in the three categories. Entries came from more than 33 nations, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in South Asia; Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in Central Asia; Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Macau, Indonesia, and China in the Far East and Burundi, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa across the African continent.
“The Muhr Awards are valuable for all DIFF audiences,” Al Ali said. “Audience members get to see rare, new and quality films they cannot otherwise access and our industry guests gain the opportunity to see the world’s best films in a single location.”
Six international juries will now shortlist the Muhr entries. The 28 winning entries will screen during the sixth Dubai International Film Festival.