DIFF  |  Muhr Submissions 2016  |  Rules & Regulations 
Muhr Submissions 2016

Rules & Regulations

The Dubai International Film Festival (“DIFF”) is the leading film festival in the Arab world. Since its inception in 2004, DIFF has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region.

Film submissions for the 13th edition of DIFF, running from December 7-14, 2016, is now open.

If you wish to have your film considered for DIFF 2016 please read carefully and accept the Rules and Regulations before submitting your film.

Please note DIFF is only accepting submissions for its Muhr Awards, however all other sections in DIFF’s official programme (the “Official Programme”) are solely curated by DIFF’s programmers.

All feature films selected in the Official Programme are eligible for the People’s Choice Award -one trophy will be awarded per edition based on votes by the general public DIFF’s heavily contested competition for feature and short fiction and non-fiction films originating from the Gulf and Arab world will compete for the following prestigious Muhr Awards.
  • Muhr Feature (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Muhr Short (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Muhr Gulf Short (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Muhr Emirati (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

MUHR FEATURE AWARDS

The following awards will be presented in the Muhr Feature category:
  • Best Muhr Fiction Feature - AED 200,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film
  • Best Muhr non-Fiction Feature - AED 100,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film
  • Special Jury Prize Muhr Feature (Fiction or Non- Fiction) - AED 50,000. The prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film
  • Best Director - AED 20,000
  • Best Actor - AED 10,000
  • Best Actress - AED 10,000

MUHR SHORT AWARDS

  • Best Muhr Short – AED 50,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film, and the winner will automatically qualify for consideration for the 2017 Academy Awards (The Oscars).
  • Special Jury Prize: Muhr Short - AED 25,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.

MUHR GULF SHORT AWARDS

  • Best Muhr Gulf Short - AED 50,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.
  • Special Jury Prize: Muhr Gulf Short - AED 25,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.

MUHR EMIRATI AWARDS

  • Best Muhr Emirati Feature – AED 75,000 The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.
  • Best Muhr Emirati Short – AED 50,000 The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.
  • Best Emirati Director – AED 20,000
Eligibility for People’s Choice Award: All feature films selected in DIFF Programme, will be eligible for the People’s Choice Award.

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY

  • In order to be eligible for the Official Programme, your film must have been completed after September 1, 2015 (i.e., films must have been completed by September 2015 or thereafter in order to be considered for the December 2016 Festival)
  • DIFF requires that all short and feature films are, at minimum MENA (Middle East and North Africa ) premieres. Exceptions maybe applied on a case-by-case basis for film in DIFF’s Official Programme.
  • Films must not have been entirely or partially broadcasted and/or made available on television, the internet, mobile phones and/or any other public viewing platform until the 13th edition of DIFF closes on 14th December, 2016.
  • Films that have been submitted to earlier editions of DIFF will not be considered unless substantial changes have been made since the initial submission.

ELIGIBILITY – MUHR FEATURE AND SHORT AWARDS

  • Films must be directed by a filmmaker of Arab nationality or origin as defined in Appendix 1.
  • The subject and storyline of the films should be centered on the Arab world, Arab history and/or Arab culture.
  • Features: Films must be a work of fiction that equal or exceed 60 minutes in duration or non-fiction duration equal or exceed 52 minutes in duration.
  • Shorts: Films can be a work of fiction that does not exceed 59 minutes in duration, or non-fiction that does not exceed 51 minutes in duration.

ELIGIBILITY – MUHR GULF SHORT AWARDS

  • Films must be directed by a Gulf filmmaker as defined in Appendix 2.
  • Films can be a work of fiction that does not exceed 59 minutes in duration, or non-fiction that does not exceed 51 minutes in duration. There are no specific guidelines on the subject and storyline of the films.

ELIGIBILITY – MUHR EMIRATI AWARDS

  • Films must be directed by an Emirati filmmaker.

SELECTION COMMITTEE AND JURY

  • The relevant DIFF committee will review all films and will have the final decision on whether the film will be part of the official Muhr Awards or Official Programme selections irrespective of the eligible category it has been submitted into.
  • Muhr Awards Jury: DIFF will solely appoint two separate juries from the international community to decide on prize winners for the Muhr Awards. The jury for the Muhr Feature section will comprise of five members and the jury for the Muhr Short & Muhr Gulf Short and Muhr Emirati will comprise of three members respectively.

SUBMISSIONS

  • Deadline: Entries of online submission forms in English and/or Arabic and film screeners must be completed and submitted by August 31st, 2016.
  • Any submissions received after August 31st, 2016 will not be accepted.
  • All films must be submitted in their original language. If the original language of the film is not in English, the screener must be subtitled in English.
  • If you are submitting a ‘work-in-progress’ film please ensure that this is clearly stated on the submission form with the final title of the film and not the working title. For the avoidance of doubt, all other terms related to submissions shall be herein applicable.

Submission Shipping

All shipping costs of the screener and/or material, if applicable must be covered by the submitter/sender (it is recommended to use a courier for shipping submissions as regular post does not guarantee any expected arrival).

All screeners and/or material should be added to the submission form or sent directly to the below address with “For Cultural Use Only” and “Without Commercial Value” clearly marked on the envelope.

Please note that DVDs are not accepted.

Dubai International Film Festival
(P.O. Box 502600)
Dubai, 502600 - United Arab Emirates
Attention: Submissions Manager
RE: [film name], [online submission ID #]
Tel: +971 4 433 5259
Fax: +971 4 367 2892
Contact: Film Programme

DIFF retains the right to keep all online submissions forms as well as screeners for its internal use only or for educational purposes. DIFF reserves the right to download and/or digitize the screeners (all formats) and transfer the screeners to a master hard drive digital library, building a digital reference archive (“DIFF Permanent Digital Library”). DIFF will not theatrically or publicly screen for commercial or non- commercial purposes any films without the express written consent of the appropriate rights holder(s) of the concerned film.

The screeners whether downloaded or digitized are shared with the relevant selection committee for viewing and assessment via an internal secured platform only made available by restricted access provided by DIFF only to the members of the selection committees.

If you have any queries about film submissions, please contact Film Programme

SELECTED FILMS

The relevant selection committee will at its own discretion select the films for the Official Programme either in DIFF Muhr Awards or Out-of-Competition sections.

If a film is selected for the Official Programme, DIFF will send an official selection letter within the first half of November 2016 and will advise of further requirements and next steps.

DIFF hereby reserves the first right to announce the Official Programme. All those associated with the film selected shall in no case, prior to the official announcement made by DIFF, publicly announce directly or indirectly and confirm that the film is part of the Official Programme.

The Official Programme will be announced by the end of November 2016.

If a film has not been selected, DIFF will inform the submitter by letter prior to the announcement of the Official Programme. However, it is DIFF’s policy not to provide any feedback, comments or reasons for films that are not selected.

Once a film is selected and confirmed, the submitter will not be able to withdraw the film or change the Premiere status of the film at any given time before it is screened at DIFF.

Screenings & Scheduling

Selected films will be screened up to two times to DIFF’s public audiences. At the discretion of DIFF, the film prior to DIFF’s public festival screenings may receive additional screenings one for the accredited press and one for the jury amounting to a possible 4 screenings in total.

DIFF will at its sole discretion decide on the dates and order of the screening(s) of each film.

Final Screening Material

The final screening copy of the film can only be submitted in one of the following formats:
  • Movie files: Apple pro res LT, Apple pro res HQ, Apple pro res 422, H264
  • DCP* or protected link.
It is DIFF’s general policy to screen all non-English and non-Arabic language films in their original language version with English subtitles.

Selected films should be submitted with a high resolution copy of the trailer of the film used for promotional purposes. DIFF shall be entitled without prior notice to use the trailer online and on broadcast TV for periods of time to be solely decided by DIFF.

The screening copy of the film must be received in good condition and DIFF reserves the right to refuse screening copies if not in good condition and can request the submitter to re-submit a new copy. In the event that the submitter fails to submit a screening copy suitable for screening and in good condition, DIFF reserves the right to cancel the selection of the film without any liability whatsoever.

Print Shipping

Shipping costs to and from DIFF’s premises will be borne by DIFF. DIFF will return the screening copy at the end of DIFF. To arrange for the delivery of the screening copy of the film at the end of DIFF, the Print Traffic Manager shall contact the print source of the film by email to arrange for the delivery. In the event that the print source does not revert back to the Print Traffic Manager with delivery instruction in writing within 30 working days from the date of the email, DIFF shall keep the screening copy in its possession with no obligation to further chase the print source for the delivery. Should the print source ask for the screening copy back post the deadline mentioned herein and up to 12 months from the date of the email then DIFF shall return the screening copy at its own cost. Upon the expiry of 12 months from the date of the email 1) the screening copy of the film shall continue to be in DIFF”s possession, 2) DIFF shall not be under any obligation whatsoever to return the screening copy to the print source and/or the right holder (s), and 3) the print source and/or the right holder(s) shall have no right for any compensation claim against DIFF. Only at its sole discretion DIFF shall return the screening copy to the print source and/or the right holder(s) as instructed and the latter shall bear the shipment costs.

Print Insurance

Prints of all films selected for DIFF will be insured throughout the period in which they are in DIFF’s custody. In the case of loss or damage during DIFF, DIFF will be responsible only for the replacement value of the print, if the said print was originally received by DIFF in good condition.


ADDITIONAL TERMS

In the event that the submitter is found to be in violation of any condition of the Rules and Regulations, DIFF at its sole discretion may choose to cancel and eliminate such film from the Official Programme without any liability whatsoever.

Censorship

No editorial cuts or changes to any film will be made at any time by DIFF for any reason or under any circumstances.

Anti-Piracy Precautions

DIFF will take all possible and reasonable anti-piracy precautions. All prints and associated copyrighted materials will be securely stored while on DIFF premises. Access is limited to DIFF’s authorized staff only and all movement of prints will be strictly monitored. No duplication or loaning is permitted and no prints will ever leave the custody and care of DIFF or its authorized staff during DIFF unless authorized in writing by the rights owner of the film.

DIFF/Muhr Logo and Laurels

All DIFF selected films including Muhr Awards winners undertake to include, in a clear and visible manner, on the Home Video release of their film (i.e. DVD, Blu Ray, online availability) and on any and all promotional material (including but not limited to posters, banners, EPK’s, website) a specific logo or laurels to be provided by DIFF.

Screener(s)

DIFF will make a digitized copy of the final subtitled screener of the selected film for accredited press screening purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, said digitized copy will only be viewed by accredited press delegates during the period of DIFF and on a closed internal circuit. The digitization process is secure and no copy or duplication of the film can be made by third parties.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND UNDERTAKING

Submission and participation in the Official Programme is an explicit acceptance of the Rules and Regulations.

The submitter hereby represents and warrants that he/sheholds all rights in and to the film and its related materials and that he/she has the authority and capacity to submit the film and its related material for the Official Programme on behalf of the rights holder(s) of the film.

Except as stated in the Rules and Regulations, the submitter acknowledges that DIFF shall not be held liable or responsible in any manner whatsoever for any loss or damage of whatever type or nature incurred as a result of the submission, acceptance and/or screening of the film and/or its related material. Furthermore, the submitter undertakes to indemnify and keep DIFF indemnified against all liabilities, claims, demands, actions, costs, damages or loss arising out of the submission, acceptance and/or screening of the film and/or its related material.

The submitter also understands and acknowledges that the online submission form and the Rules and Regulations is a consolidated and unified document and therefore the online submission form shall be considered as incorporated herein by reference.



APPENDIX 1

Arab Nationality or Origin shall mean people from one or more of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

APPENDIX 2

Gulf Nationality or Origin shall mean people from one or more of the following countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Yemen.