DIFF 2010 invites entries for Muhr Awards

Sun Jun 13,2010

  • Recognition for the best films from the Arab world and AsiaAfrica
  • DIFF introduces Muhr Awards for Emirati filmmakers this year

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) 2010 has opened submissions for its prestigious in-competition honours, the Muhr Awards. Filmmakers from the Arab world, Asia and Africa can submit their entries to DIFF at by 31 August, 2010. A jury of eminent film professionals will evaluate the entries during the Festival’s seventh edition to be held from December 12 to 19, 2010.

The competitions feature cash prizes in the categories of Feature, Documentary and Short films, and generate publicity for emerging and established filmmakers from across the Arab world and beyond. The Muhr Awards are awarded in three segments: Muhr Arab Awards honouring the finest features, documentaries and shorts from the Arab world; the Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for the best in cinema from Asia and Africa, and the Muhr Awards for Emirati filmmakers, introduced this year, to recognize UAE-based filmmaking talent.

The Awards carry a total prize money of approximately US$600,000 and will be distributed during the closing ceremony of DIFF 2010. Entries towards the Muhr Arab competition are also eligible for the Prize of the International Critics offered by the prestigious International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), a DIFF partner.

DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said that the Muhr Awards are a highlight of DIFF, underscoring the powerful showcase of the finest films from the region. “As the in-competition segment of DIFF, the Muhr Awards bring to international spotlight the competencies and skill-sets of filmmakers in the Arab world, Asia and Africa. Several Muhr Award winners, over the years, have gone to win global acclaim.”

He added: “The Muhr Awards are a tangible accomplishment of our founding objective to promote regional filmmaking talent. We are in the process of identifying the jury members for this year to be drawn globally.”

The Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards are distributed across Features, Documentaries and Short Films. The Awards for Features include: Best Film, Special Jury Prize, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Scriptwriter, Best Editor, Best Composer and Best Cinematographer.

The Awards in Documentary are: First Prize; Special Jury Prize and Second Prize; and the awards in Short Films are: First Prize; Special Jury Prize and Second Prize.

For the Muhr Awards for Emirati Filmmakers, 15 Emirati films including feature, short and documentary will be short-listed for the first, second and third prize from any of the three filmmaking categories. The segment carries a total prize money of AED 75,000.

Films eligible for the Muhr Arab and AsiaAfrica Awards must be directed by an Arab, Asian or African filmmaker and the subject and storyline of the film must be centered on the Arab, Asian or African world and/or history and culture for the respective competitions.

They must be produced after September 1, 2009 and must not have been screened in the Gulf region for any audiences before DIFF, with the exception of projects that have participated in the third edition of the Gulf Film Festival (GFF).

Films from outside of the Gulf region must be Gulf premieres and films from the Gulf region must be UAE premieres. Until the end of DIFF, films must not have been broadcasted via television, internet, mobile phone or any other public viewing platform.

Shortlisted projects will be announced in November 2010, and films that do not meet with the competition criteria and have not been screened in the UAE can be submitted for consideration in DIFF’s ‘Out of Competition’ segments.

DIFF 2009 received over 900 entries from more than 62 nations across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Europe in three categories for the Muhr Awards.

DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF.

Notes to Editor

Muhr Arab Awards:
Eligible countries for participation in the competition include: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards:
Eligible countries for participation in the competition include: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan), Congo – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Congo (Zaire), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Reunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

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