DIFF empowers 12 filmmakers from the Arab world with over US$110,000 in Dubai Film Connection Awards

Fri Dec 17,2010

In addition to the three DIFF Awards of US$25,000 each, the festival also presents the Euro6000 ARTE Award presented by ARTE France; the US$25,000 Desert Door DIFF Work in Progress Award; the US$10,000 Film Clinic DIFF Debut Feature Award; and the US$15,000 Screen Institute Beirut DIFF Documentary Award. Additionally, at DIFF, the Producers Network, Cannes Film Market awards registration to five producers from the Arab world to attend the prestigious Producers Network meetings at Cannes Film Festival.

The winners of the prestigious DIFF Awards are: Housekeeping by Mazen Khaled (Lebanon/Egypt); One Day and 124 Nights by Sabine El Chamma (Lebanon); and Standstill by Majdi El-Omari (Canada).

Ali the Goat and Ibrahim by Ibrahim El Batout (Egypt/France) won the ARTE France Cinema Award, while Eliane Raheb (Lebanon) won the Desert Door DIFF Work In Progress Award for Confession & Struggle, a documentary. The Screen Institute Beirut DIFF Documentary Award was clinched by In Search of Oil and Sand, another documentary by EAVE graduate Philippe Dib (Egypt). The Film Clinic DIFF Debut Feature Award was won by I am Nojood, 10 years old and Divorced, directed by Khadija Al Salami (Yemen/France).

The Producers Network Award winners are: Katia Saleh of Batoota Films (Lebanon); Yacine Laloui of Laith Media (Algeria); Veronique Zerdoun of LibrisFilms (France); Georges Schoucair of Abbout Productions (Lebanon) and Wael Omar of Middle West Films (Egypt).

The Dubai Film Connection Jury comprised Dora Bouchoucha, head of Carthage Film Festival since 2008; Sandra den Hamer, CEO of Eye Film Institute Netherlands; and Mohamed Soueid, film critic and author. The International Relations ARTE Jury members are Michel Reilhac, Executive Director of ARTE France Cinema and head of acquisitions for Cinema with ARTE France; and Annamaria Lodato, Head of Communications & PR for the International Relations Department of ARTE France.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director, said: “The DFC Awards will significantly enhance the visibility of Arab filmmakers globally. They also highlight our commitment to establishing a strong infrastructure to drive the growth of the film industry in the region, by offering tangible opportunities to drive the film production process as well as build global rapport.”

DFC, this year, selected 15 new regional film projects for potential production support from over 130 submissions from Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Algeria, Syria and Iraq, among other regional markets.

Further building on DIFF’s focus of expanding the reach of Arab films and filmmakers across the globe, the Dubai Film Connection has also established reciprocal relationships with regional and international festivals, film commissions and organizations, such as the Royal Film Commission (Jordan); San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain); Cairo Film Connection (Egypt); Carthage Film Festival (Tunis); Beirut DC (Lebanon) and Durban International Film Festival (South Africa).

DIFF 2010 box office locations are: CineStar Mall of the Emirates, the Madinat Souk, The Walk at JBR, and at the CNN Building in Dubai Media City. Tickets can also be purchased through DIFF’s Dial-a-Ticket service at (04) 391 3378 and from the website,

DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The event is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit

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