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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS TO MUHR AWARDS

Wed May 07,2008

DIFF Expands to Include Competition for Films from Asia and Africa; US$ 576,000 in Total Prize Money for Both Competitions

As the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) gathers momentum for its landmark fifth edition this December, it is inviting submissions from Arab filmmakers to its successful film competition the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema andfrom Asian and African filmmakers for its new Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards.

The Muhr Awards will continue to honour excellence in Arab Cinema and have been expanded to include competitions for films from Asia and Africa; filmmakers from the eligible countries are invited to submit their short films, documentaries and features to the Muhr Awards by August 31, 2008.

Masoud Amralla al Ali, the festival’s Artistic Director, stated: “DIFF is in a perfect position to showcase cinema from Asia and Africa, being at the crossroads between Asia, Africa, Europe, and beyond.  We feel that this award embodies the cosmopolitan nature of our festival, as well as Dubai’s incredible diversity.

Furthermore, some of the film communities within the remit of the new competition often operate under extreme duress.  Particularly in developing countries, artists need help and recognition to continue their craft.”

The Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema and the Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards will feature cash prizes for the best Feature, Documentary and Short films, as well as awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Script, Best Editor, Best Composer and Best Cinematography. Cash prizes will be equal for both the Arab and AsiaAfrica competitions.

Cash prizes for both competitions are as follows:

  • There     will be 8 Muhr Prizes awarded in the Feature Films category for both the Arab     and AsiaAfrica competitions: Best Film - US$ 50,000; Special Jury Prize -    US$ 40,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the Director of each film;    Best Actor - US$ 10,000; Best Actress – US$ 10,000; Best Screenplay – US$    7,000; Best Editor – US$ 7,000; Best Composer – US$ 7,000 and Best     Cinematographer – US$ 7,000.
  • There     will be 3 Muhr prizes in the Documentary Films category for both the Arab     and AsiaAfrica competitions: First Prize - US$ 40,000; Second Prize - US$    25,000; Special Jury Prize - US$ 25,000. The cash prize will be awarded to     the Director of each film.
  • There will be 3 Muhr prizes in the Short Films     category for both the Arab and AsiaAfrica competitions: Best Film - US$    30,000; Second Prize - US$ 15,000; Special Jury Prize - US$ 15,000. The     cash prize will be awarded to the Director of each film.

“The Competitions serves to provide filmmakers an opportunity to receive recognition for outstanding work, and encourage production of films that spread knowledge and understanding of the region and its rich culture”, concluded Al Ali.

A top judging panel from the international film community will select the winners in the three categories.

Films eligible for both competitions must be directed by an Arab,
Asian or African filmmaker and the subject and storyline of the film must be centered around the Arab, Asian or African world and/or their history and culture for the respective competitions. Films must be produced after September 1, 2007 and submitted to DIFF before August 31, 2008.

The film must be a Gulf premiere and not previously shown on any television channel or streamed via the internet to any public audience. The film must not have been screened in the Gulf region for any audiences before December 17, 2008, with the exception of the films that participated in the Gulf Film Festival in 2008.

Films that do not meet with the competition criteria and have not been commercially screened in the UAE can be submitted for consideration in DIFF’s ‘Out of Competition’ segments.

The Fifth Edition of the Dubai International Film Festival is scheduled to be held from December 11-18, 2008.

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