Wed Dec 17,2008

Prizes Reward 6 Promising Projects; Watch for These Titles on Middle East Screens

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced the six award winners from its 3-day Dubai Film Connection, a project market designed as a platform for international and Arab film professionals to network and collaborate. The 21 participating projects were selected from 108 applicants from across the Middle   East and the globe.

Six awards were given last night at a special award ceremony: the USD 25, 000 Dubai International Film Festival prize, awarded to three outstanding projects whose producers will participate in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Producers Network 2009; the USD 25, 000 DIFF Desert Door Work in Progress Award; the 6000 Euro Arte ‘International Relations’ Award, and the USD 10 000 Bahrain Film Production Company Award.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director, said: “This year the awards were increased to give further support to these projects. The Dubai Film Connection 2008 has been an incredibly successful event. There has been so much interest, and a lot of business has been generated as a result of these meetings that will materialize over the coming months. Two of our projects have also been approached by a Middle   East broadcaster offering support for development and distribution. We hope to follow that and publish more news as the projects progress.”

The jury was comprised of three distinguished judges: Tony Cianciotta, T. C. Film Marketing & Distribution (Canada);  Marie Therese Guirgis, Marie Therese Guirgis Management (USA); and Philippe Reilhac,  Director General, Festival des Trois Continents (France).

Winning projects were:

The Dubai International Film Festival Prize:

This is my Picture When I Was Dead, by Mahmoud al Massad (Jordan-Netherlands)

Barbershop Trinity, by Chadi Zeneddine (Lebanon)

Ouardia Once Had Sons, by Djamila Sahraoui (Algeria-Morocco)

DIFF Desert Door Work in Progress Award:

Every Day is a Holiday,  by Dima El-Hor (Lebanon-France)

Arte International Relations Award:

Death for Sale, by Faouzi Bensaiei (Morocco-France-Belgium).

Bahrain Film Production Company Award:

When I Saw You, by Annemarie Jacir (Palestine-Jordan)

The Dubai Film Connection is part of DIFF’s Industry Office, and is in its second successful year. Of last year’s 15 projects, eight are in some stage of production, and one film participated in this year’s Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema.

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