DIFF Announces Silver Sponsors

Fri Dec 08,2006

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced its Silver sponsors, many of whom have been with the festival since its inception.

ArtWorks, E-Vision, Filmworks, Gulf News, MAC Cosmetics, Motivate Publishing, the Dubai Road and Transport Authority, Realmedia, Showtime, and Sony Professional Solutions M.E. have all given support to the festival, which runs from December 10 to 17, 2006.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, stated, “Staging a world-class event of DIFF’s size and scope is an undertaking that can only be attempted with a sizeable group of friends. Our Silver sponsors are behind our efforts to put Dubai on the cultural map, and not just financially—-many of them are raising Dubai’s profile in their own right. Together we are creating the cultural future of this emirate.”

ArtWorks’ spokesperson Patricia Palmer spoke about the company’s involvement: “DIFF’s promotion of the film industry in the GCC will be a blessing. It is high time that the talent and the quality facilities here be promoted and our reputation solidified on the world stage.”

The leading digital cable TV provider, E-Vision, has been a DIFF sponsor since the first year; Humaid Rashid Sahoo, E-Vision’s Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the company’s commitment: “We have supported the international film festival since its inception, and our commitment is a result of our belief that both DIFF and E-Vision are in the same venture, which is not simply to provide entertainment but to provide choice and value in that entertainment. The new cinema that DIFF exposes to the market will create more diverse consumer tastes, which is a demand we at E-Vision look forward to meeting.”

Filmworks, the production company that facilitated the Dubai shoot for Syriana, starring George Clooney, is a Silver sponsor for the second year. Tim Smythe, the company’s Managing Director, said, “Supporting DIFF is obvious—-we share DIFF’s goal of promoting the growth of Dubai’s production sector, since it means a better caliber of talent, crew and content, which benefits everyone. We look forward to working with the Arab filmmakers that are receiving much-needed support through DIFF’s initiatives. Dubai is set to become a production hub in this region, and DIFF is at the forefront of that development.”

Gulf News, another Silver sponsor, will carry the DIFF Daily, a summary of screenings, events and news, during the festival run. Duleep George, Marketing & Sales Director for Gulf News, stated, “we are very pleased to be part of DIFF for the first year, and to be so extensively involved at that. As Dubai’s leading English daily, we wanted to partner with Dubai’s most important cultural event—-DIFF.”

MAC Cosmetics has been a DIFF sponsor for three years running, and this year will offer special courses in makeup for film and High Definition formats. Alexis Szabo, the company’s Regional Director, Middle East, India and Turkey, said, “MAC celebrates glamour, drama and passion, which sums up cinema as an art form. We want to support DIFF’s bringing the Middle East’s unique cinematic vision to the world.”

Motivate Publishing, the Gulf’s leading publisher of magazines and books, with over 25 popular titles to its credit, has been a festival sponsor since the beginning.  Ian Fairservice, the company’s Managing Partner & Group Editor, stated, “We share many of the same goals as DIFF, and the primary goal is diversifying Dubai’s cultural scene. For too long there has been too little choice here, but DIFF is changing that fast. We have known for a long time that Dubai has the potential to become a leading city of culture, and DIFF is helping to make that a reality.”

Real Media – Zee Network, the largest producer and aggregator of programming in the world, produced DIFF’s television commercial. The company is pleased to be backing DIFF for the third year running, according to Yogesh Radhakrishnan, the company’s MD & CEO: “We are proud of DIFF, the hometown event that has become a host for the world. The festival epitomizes what Dubai is about—-international, growing fast but retaining its roots, and looking with enthusiasm to the future. This year we have three channels that will be promoting DIFF: Zee TV, Zee Cinema and Zee Arabiya.”

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is a new addition to the sponsors roster; Mohamed Obaid Al Mulla, Chief Executive Officer for the Public Transport Agency, stated that “RTA is proud of the festival’s rapid growth and the high quality for which it has always aimed. DIFF is a key ingredient in Dubai’s growth, because culture is just as important as architectural feats in building the identity and integrity of a society.”

Showtime Arabia, also a Gold Sponsor, will bring DIFF straight to viewers’ living rooms in their ‘DIFF TV’ coverage, which can be viewed on channel 11; DIFF TV will run from 15 November to 31 December. Azhar Malik, Spokesman for the channel, said: “DIFF is spearheading cultural growth and enhanced international visibility for Dubai, which can be seen in the way DIFF has grown year to year. We anticipate intense viewer interest in the goings-on at the festival, which we look forward to covering in the years to come.”

Mr. Rob Sherman, Divisional Director, Sony Professional Solutions M.E., commented, “Sony is involved in the entertainment industry at many levels, from providing the equipment to producing content to the display devices on which that content is delivered, both at home and in the cinema. We see DIFF as an essential vehicle in stimulating the entertainment industry in Dubai and the region as a whole. Therefore Sony Professional Solutions M.E. will continue to support the Middle East production industry through such events to produce more indigenous films and programs. In this way, the region’s content creation industry can develop and compete on the world stage.” 

DIFF will run from December 10 to 17, 2006.

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