DIFF’s out-of-competition has been critically acclaimed and widely appreciated by film-loving audiences in Dubai. Each year, the festival presents a staggering number of world, international and regional premieres proving its status as a festival of choice for film-makers from around the world.

What are the out-of-competition sections that films can participate in?

  • Arabian Nights: Out-of-competition exhibition of Arab and international films, in varied formats, each touching on some aspect of modern Arab life
  • Celebration of Indian Cinema: Presentations reflecting the diversity of cinema traditions from across the country
  • Cinema of the World: Cinema from around the world, distilled into an eclectic line-up
  • Cinema for Children: The region’s only dedicated section for younger audiences, bringing the best of children’s cinema to the Middle East
  • Cinema of AsiaAfrica: An out-of-competition selection of presentations from first-time film-makers to established masters
  • Gulf Voices: A repository of the Gulf region’s finest films

Film-makers from around the world can submit their feature films and documentaries to participate in the following sections of the DIFF programme:

Short film submissions will only be considered for the ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Gulf Voices’ sections of the out-of-competition programme.


DIFF has emerged as an essential meeting place for film-makers and professionals from the East and West. It provides film-makers with an excellent platform to premiere their films to international industry and media. And, of course, there’s Dubai’s film-loving audiences, who come out in full force to watch DIFF’s presentations. In 2012, more than 55,000 attended the festival’s screenings.

Out-of-competition Rules & Regulations

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