IWC Schaffhausen presents new ‘Filmmaker Award’ for Arab Storytelling

Sun Jul 08,2012

Dubai, June 8th, 2012 –IWC Schaffhausen is extending its partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival and supports Gulf film directors and their feature films with a US$ 100’000.- endowed Filmmaker Award, the Luxury Swiss watch manufacturer and the Dubai International Film Festival jointly announced today.

The award opens up a new source of funding for established and upcoming directors from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, which have witnessed a surge in quality filmmaking and filmmaker development in the last several years. It is also a further commitment to IWC’s long-standing passion for film and film-making.

Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, said: “For many years now we have had a passion for the cinema. Every director tells a story with his films. At IWC Schaffhausen story telling is the basis – or to be more precise – part of the DNA of everything we do. Our experiences with the region’s leading film festivals in the last few years convinced us that the talent and stories from the Gulf deserves an international stage. We believe in the proliferation of new voices, and we are delighted to contribute to the Arab storytelling by this Filmmaker Award.” 

The first IWC Filmmaker Award will accept entries till August 31, 2012 at; three submissions will be shortlisted by an independent jury in October before IWC will present the award to its selected winner on December 10, 2012, during the 9th Dubai International Film Festival.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said the new award is evidence of the Festival’s success in bringing filmmaking into the cultural mainstream. “The filmmaking community in the Gulf region and the wider Arab world achieves new milestones with every passing year. Earning the trust and support of globally successful brands like IWC Schaffhausen is such a milestone – their belief in film as a valuable artistic and cultural expression from the region will help propel the success of our films and talent ever forward at home and around the world. On behalf of the Gulf’s filmmaking community, we are very grateful to them for their support.”

The IWC Filmmakers Award is an extension of a thriving partnership between the Dubai International Film Festival, the most successful and prestigious film festival of the Middle East, and the storied international watch manufacturer. During DIFF 2011, the two entities hosted ‘One Night to Change Lives,’ a black-tie charity event that raised more than a million dollars for global development and aid agency Oxfam and UAE-based philanthropic organization Dubai Cares. IWC is also a prominent supporter of the Gulf Film Festival, the home of cinema from the region.

To be eligible for the IWC award, the feature-length fiction film projects must be in the development stage. Directors must be citizens of a Gulf nation; producers can be of any nationality. The filmmaking team must submit a comprehensive dossier including synopsis, full treatment and script, director notes, budget outlines and samples of previous work.

More details of the award and conditions of disbursement are available on

The Dubai International Film Festival is currently receiving submissions for its 2012 edition from filmmakers from across the Middle East and around the world seeking a coveted spot in its December 9 to 16 festival and its successful Dubai Film Market industry hub dedicated to assisting films and filmmakers at every stage of development.

The Festival is accepting entries until August 31 for its flagship competitions – the Muhr Arab, Muhr Asia Afric and Muhr Emirati segments – and its diverse out of competition segments dedicated to contemporary regional and world cinema, children’s cinema and Indian cinema.

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the title sponsor of the Dubai International Film Festival. The Ninth 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

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