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Dubai International Film Festival announces support for 5 new Arab films through Enjaaz post-production support

Mon Dec 12,2011

Dubai, UAE; December 12, 2011: The eighth Dubai International Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has selected five additional films from the Arab world to receive post-production funding as part of the second cycle of its Enjaaz post-production support programme for 2011. This takes the total number of films from the region to receive the post-production support of DIFF this year to 20.

An integral part of DIFF’s comprehensive script-to-screen initiative, the Dubai Film Market, Enjaaz provides post-production support of up to US$100,000 per project to help Arab and Arab-origin filmmakers bridge the gap between production and a screen-ready product.
The five additional projects, comprising documentaries and feature films, are from the UAE, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, France, Lebanon and Palestine. They were selected from more than 110 entries, and include:

·    The Infiltrators by Palestinian director Khaled Jarar - a documentary that unravels the attempts of soldiers to crossover to the other side – some of which are successful, and some end in failure.

·    A co-production of UAE and Lebanon 39 Seconds by Lara Saba questions whether our destiny is pre-determined or can be altered by the decisions we make. The narrative is described through the story of various individuals, whose lives seem to change in less than 39 seconds.

·    10 Years, an Egyptian and UAE co-production by filmmaker Mahmood Soliman, began circa 2002, following an Egyptian woman who sharpened knives on the street to make ends meet. Despite her hardships, she was determined to ensure that her children do not undergo the suffering that she did. Soliman returns 10 years later to see how things have changed since January 2011.

·    Morocco and France co-production My Brother by Kamal El Mahouti confronts the dilemma of an artist caught between the two countries and is set against the backdrop of the rhythmic Gnawa folk music. Moroccan immigrant Mo Bensalah’s very essence is visible in his art, with his internal voice and feelings guiding viewers to the core of his identity crisis.

·    A co-production of Algeria, France and UAE, Ouardia Once Had Sons by director Djamila Sahraoui narrates the story of Ouardia, who has buried her son, a soldier possibly killed by his own brother, in the isolated Algerian countryside. In this setting tense with pain and brittle with drought, life will reassert itself.

Fourteen Enjaaz films from the 2010 and 2011 funding cycles are screening in DIFF 2011, including: Christina Foerch Saab’s Che Guevara Died in Lebanon; Wissam Charaf’s It’s All in Lebanon; Youcef Joe Bou Edi’s Heels of War; Danielle Arbid’s Beirut Hotel; Daniel Joseph’s Taxi Ballad; Simon El-Habre’s Gate #5; Narjiss Nejjar’s The Rif Lover; Nadim Mishlawi’s Sector Zero; Yahya AlAbdallah’s The Last Friday; Laith Al-Juneidi’s The Invisible Policeman; Aseel Mansour’s Uncle Nashaat; Ahmad Rashwan’s Born on the 25th of January; Rami Nihawi’s Yamo and Susan Youssef’s romantic interlude Habibi Rasak Kharban.

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director, Dubai International Film Festival, said: “Post-production is one of the critical phases, where filmmakers clearly benefit from additional support that not only enables the timely completion of their project but also helps them to bring the desired quality. We are delighted that earlier Enjaaz supported projects are now screening at DIFF, and the new selection of projects will further help in creating a new and vibrant roster of Arabic films.”

Launched in 2009, the Festival’s Enjaaz programme has supported more than 30 Arab and Arab-origin films including Egyptian inner city drama Cairo Exit, UAE heritage biopic Hamama, and Iraqi feature Leaving Baghdad, among others. The deadline for submissions for the next cycle of Enjaaz is February 1, 2012.

The DIFF box office is open at www.dubaifilmfest.com. Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the title sponsor of the Dubai International Film Festival. The eighth edition of DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
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