Dubai International Film Festival is once again set to showcase the best new features, shorts, documentaries and VR experiences from world-renowned and local talent. The festival has cemented its reputation as a place to discover exciting, original and compelling films from the Arab world and beyond.
Shining a spotlight on the future of the film industry, the organisers of DIFF are keen to encourage students, media and professionals from the film, broadcast and advertising industry to join the region’s largest congregation of filmmakers, producers, scriptwriters, editors, animators and distributors for the Festival’s 14th edition.
Running from 6 – 13 December 2017, Festival attendees will receive blanket access to eight days of unique cinematic experiences from priority tickets for the stellar line-up of local, regional and international premieres, red carpet galas to press conferences, forums, masterclasses, VR experiences and panel sessions as talent and industry elites descend on Madinat Jumeirah.
A step away from the red carpet, DIFF’s Dubai Film Market (DFM) gathers over 4,000 registered delegates from more than 60 countries to connect projects, create crucial partnerships and share best practice. Running parallel to the Festival, DFM’s packed schedule last year featured more than 75 speakers including Academy and four-time BAFTA winning director, writer and producer Asif Kapadia, renowned actor Samuel L Jackson, Oscar nominated director Lenny Abrahamson, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux. Past editions have seen organisations at the forefront of film and TV including Netflix, STX, Filmnation and HBO engaging with the industry at the market.
The 2016 Festival also witnessed the introduction of a brand new Virtual Reality (VR) programme, ‘DIFFerent REALITY’, designed to give festival-goers a window into the possibilities of virtual reality technology by viewing films in a whole new dimension. Housed at the du VR Cinema powered by Samsung, the initiative – a first in the region – will return for the 2017 Festival alongside the latest in film innovations including Augmented Reality (AR).
Shivani Pandya, DIFF managing director said: “Every year we strive to ensure the Festival provides an unforgettable experience introducing audiences to the broadest range of compelling, challenging and entertaining films from a generation of new exciting talent and acclaimed filmmakers from around the world.”
DIFF reveals Muhr feature film line-up
DIFF recently revealed the first films that will feature in the Muhr Feature category. The Muhr Awards celebrate regional talent whose work explores the traditions and culture of the Arab world.
Since 2006, DIFF has brought together the best in local and regional short and feature-length films for the Muhr Awards. Designed to highlight cinematic talent from around the Arab world, the competitive line-up will have their entries screened for DIFF audiences and judged by a prestigious jury panel. Entrants stand the chance of winning funding to help further their filmmaking talent. Films selected for the Muhr Feature programme are in the running for the following categories: Best Muhr Fiction Feature, Best Muhr Non-Fiction Feature, Special Jury Prize Muhr Feature (Fiction or Non- Fiction), Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.
DIFF’s artistic director, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, said: “Showcasing regional talent has been at the heart of the Festival since day one. This year’s line-up of feature films will continue the tradition of presenting the creativity and brilliance of our regional filmmakers, helping further fuel the rise of cinema within the region. The selection of films already shortlisted spans a remarkable mix of talented filmmakers who have all used their craft to share the perspective of the Arab world’s unique history and culture.”
DIFF confirms Gulf Muhr shorts
Muhr Gulf Short section returns to DIFF with a diverse selection of creative short films from across the region, providing an opportunity for filmmakers to premiere their projects on the world stage. The 2017 line-up of short films each tell original stories and provide insights into the region.
Speaking about the Muhr shorts, Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “Short film is a unique craft amongst the film industry, and we’re thrilled to bring the latest creative projects from filmmakers around the region to the Festival. DIFF audiences can explore cultural nuances, current and international themes and, above all, captivating storytelling with this year’s line-up.”