Tue Nov 12,2013

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today released the 16 projects that will take part in its highly successful co-production market for regional filmmakers, the Dubai Film Connection (DFC), with the aim of taking the participating scripts to screen. The DFC, now in its seventh year, introduces Arab filmmakers to international film professionals and organisations and offers over USD 100,000 in award money.

Since its inception, the DFC, whose mandate is to raise the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulate the growth of film production originating from the Arab world, has resulted in 35 films being completed - with a further five in various stages of production. Many have returned to DIFF for screenings and a number of them have enjoyed widespread regional and international acclaim. Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda, which has experienced worldwide success and recognition, Annemarie Jacir’s When I Saw You and The Repentant by Merzal Allouache are all notable past participants. Batata by Noura Kevorkian and A Full Moon Night by Fares Naanaa were the 2012 standout winners and set a high bar for this year’s shortlist to follow.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director said: “This year we have selected the most ambitious project slate to date. Our lineup includes 11 narrative features as well as 5 documentaries. The total number and the overall caliber of entries far exceeded our expectations to the extent that we had to extend the parameters of the award to accommodate an extra selection – bringing the total number of projects to 16.”

“The international film community is increasingly aware and excited about projects from the region, and the DFC is becoming the go-to forum for East-West collaborations that reflect an increasingly globalized world.”

Participating Projects in the 2013 Dubai Film Connection include:

A Reverence for Spiders, by Faiza Ambah / Saudi Arabia
Bastard, by Uda Benyamina / Morocco
Chedda, by Damien Ounouri / Algeria
Gaza, DC, by Rashid Masharawi / Palestine
God Protect My Daughter, by Leyla Bouzid / Tunisia
Heatwave, by Joyce A. Nashawati / Lebanon
Kharouf, by Ahmed Ibrahim / Egypt
Trees Also Die, by Rabih El-Amine/ Lebanon
Until the End of Time, by Yasmine Chouikh / Algeria
Men in the Sun, by Mahdi Fleifel / Palestine
The Flag, by Firas Khoury / Palestine

Dangerous Profiles, by Mark Lotfy / Egypt
Even to China, by Yanis Koussim, Mohamed Hireche / Algeria
Illusion, by Bavi Yassin / Iraq
The Forgotten, by Ghada Terawi / Palestine
The True Story Behind Me by Maryam S. Jum’a / Jordan

The Dubai Film Connection awards include a new EUR10,000 award from the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC) in France, a USD10,000 prize from Front Row Filmed Entertainment and the Kuwait National Cinema Company, a EUR6,000 prize from ARTE France, three DIFF awards of USD25,000, a EUR5,000 award to a project that is from a member country of the Organistaion Internationale de la Francophonie and five accreditations for producers from the Arab world to the prestigious Producers Network at Cannes 2013.

The DFC has been running on the sidelines of the Dubai Film Market, DIFF’s platform for industry programming which includes seminars, networking events and pitching sessions, since 2007.

DIFF’s tenth edition will take place from December 6 to 14, 2013.

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