Mon Dec 09,2013

Academy Award winner and IWC Friend of the Brand, Cate Blanchett, presented the 2nd IWC Filmmakers Award to Waleed Al Shehhi, for his work Dolphins. Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) collaborated for the 2nd consecutive year to give talented filmmakers of the region the opportunity to win the IWC Filmmakers Award. Held on 7 December 2013 at the One & Only Royal Mirage, the exclusive “For the Love of Cinema” IWC Filmmakers Award Gala honored Waleed Al Shehhi, whose film was assessed by a panel of judges of international film industry authorities. Apart from the presentation of the award, a private concert by Rebecca Ferguson was among the evening’s highlights.

“We believe new voices and viewpoints should be heard and are convinced that talent and stories from the Gulf region deserve an international stage. We are proud to be a partner of the Dubai International Film Festival. Through the IWC Filmmakers Award we are able to contribute to Arab storytelling in general and to the funding of a new film project for established and upcoming directors here in the Middle East in particular,” Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, said about the partnership.

“It is an honour to return to the Dubai International Film Festival and collaborate with IWC in selecting this year’s winner, Waleed Al Shehhi. I feel privileged to be on hand to witness the impressive talent from the filmmakers in this region and support their aspirations,” Cate Blanchett added. The actress headed the award jury for the 2nd year in a row along with fellow jury members Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amrala Al Ali as well as film critic and consultant Fionnuala Halligan.

Joining Cate Blanchett among the nearly 200 international VIP guests and celebrities who attended the “For The Love of Cinema” gala dinner hosted by IWC and DIFF were television presenter and master of ceremonies Diala Makki, His Royal Highness and IWC Friend of the Brand Prince Abdulaziz Turki Al Faisal, actors Martin Sheen and Michael B. Jordan, directors Mohammed Al Turki and Ali Mostafa, Turkish actors Meltem Cumbul, Murat Yıldırım and Burçin Terzioğlu Yıldırım. The glamorous gala dinner was followed by a private concert for the guests by young British singer, songwriter and X-Factor runner-up Rebecca Ferguson. After the concert, Saint-Tropez DJ Jack E kept the party going at full swing.

Among the four finalists were Saudi Arabian director Faiza Ambah with his film A Reverence for Spiders, Kuwaiti director Zeyad AlHusaini with How I got There, Hussain Alriffaei with Siege and Waleed Al Shehhi for Dolphins. Emerging victorious out of the ambitious entries was Waleed Al Shehhi who received the $100,000 grant from Cate Blanchett herself. Waleed Al Shehhi was also presented with an exclusive IWC timepiece engraved with the words “For the Love of Cinema.”

Written by author and poet Ahmed Salmeen and directed by award-winning Emirati Waleed Al Shehhi, Dolphins revolves around Fadel, an ambulance driver, who is divorced and has one son, Saud, who lives with his mother Kawthar. Saud lives in a state of uncertainty due to the separation of his parents, which leads him and his friend Hilal on an unusual adventure with an extraordinary outcome.

Illustrative material can be downloaded free of charge at:

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