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Diff, OIF team up to assist filmmakers

Dubai, October 26, 2011

The Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) has collaborated with L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to assist emerging and established filmmakers in the Arab world.

Under the new partnership, OIF will provide a €5,000 prize to a Dubai Film Connection film project from one of the Arab world’s Francophone countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, a statement from the organizers said.

The first award will be presented during the fifth edition of the festival’s co-production market, which runs concurrently with the festival from December 7 to 14.

The event is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and the ruler of Dubai.

Shivani Pandya, managing director, Diff, said: “The funding by OIF for a Dubai Film Connection project is another validation of our success in establishing a conduit between global film and cultural organisations and local and regional talent. The partnership to promote filmmaking in the Francophone countries of the Arab world is part of our efforts to cultivate as many resources and growth opportunities for filmmakers as possible.”

Frederic Bouilleux, director, L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, said: “The Dubai Film Connection embodies a label of quality and the OIF has decided to finance an award through it in order to contribute to the emergence of a creative, meaningful and globally accessible Arab cinema.”

Established in 1970, the L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie is committed to encouraging solidarity between its 75 members and observer states and more than 890 million people worldwide, including 220 million French speakers, the statement said.

The promotion of cultural diversity is one of the cornerstones of its work, and includes support for creative professionals with the writing, production and broadcasting of their work and its promotion during festivals and film markets.

“Our commitment to encouraging cultural diversity is illustrated by our support of film and broadcast media, which are driving forces for cultural expressions and economically beneficial areas of activity,” he said.

Every year the Dubai Film Connection selects 15 new regional film projects for potential production support annually, from a field of hundreds across the Levant, Maghreb, Gulf, North Africa and other markets that are home to filmmakers of Arab nationality and origin.

Launched in 2007, the Dubai Film Connection selects 15 regional documentary and feature film projects in development annually, offering more than $100,000 in funding.

In addition, the co-production market also provides emerging filmmakers with invaluable industry connections, including matchmaking with specialists in sales, distribution, and funding, the statement said.

Since its inception, it has showcased 64 projects from the Middle East, of which 18 films have been completed and debuted to international acclaim and an additional 10 are in production.

The Dubai Film Connection awards include a €6,000 prize from Arte France, $10,000 Film Clinic award for a debut feature film, three Diff awards of $25,000, $15,000 Screen Institute Beirut Diff Documentary Award, and five registrations for producers from the Arab world to the prestigious Producers Network at Cannes 2012, it said.

The film festival is held in association with Dubai Studio City, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, the principal sponsors of DIFF and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Registration for the eighth edition of the festival is now open. Potential delegates can sign up through the website, it said. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Middle East | Dubai | Dubai Film festival | OIF | Dubai Film Connection |

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