DIFF Round-up from the Red Carpet

Thu Dec 13,2012

Story 1:
Wadjda Screening offers audience an evening of inspiration and reflection

Last night’s red-carpet gala at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) celebrated Saudi Arabia’s first female film director, Haifaa al Mansour, with a screening of her Muhr Arab Feature film Wadjda, about a young girl’s quest to own her own bicycle despite the constricting social conventions of the Kingdom.
The event was supported with stars from the GCC, supporting one of their own in what promises to be one of a series of cinematic endeavours. The strong Wadjda entourage included the director herself, Haifaa al Mansour, and the films talented child-actors Waad Mohammed and Abdullrahman Al Gohani.

The ground-breaking film has already been awarded the Art Cinema Award at The Venice Film Festival 2012 and sparked international discussion and interest in the burgeoning talent of the Arab World.

Story 2
Wadjda Cast pose alongside the Films infamous bike

Before attending the critically acclaimed crowd pleasing Gala Screening of Wadjda, the humble cast and crew spent some time with the media during a press in Al Qasr. Pioneering director Haifaa al Mansour, and the child-actors Waad Mohammed and Abdullrahman Al Gohani posed alongside the infamous bike from their ground-breaking film.

Wadjda is the second Arabian Gala to be screened this week, this follows Bekas earlier in the week which showcasedat DIFF following astonishing success in Cannes.

Story 3:
Dubai Film & TV Commission

A high profile panel of film industry leaders from the region gathered at the festival today to mark the launch of the Dubai Film & TV Commission, with a discussion about Dubai’s burgeoning production industry. The commission has been set up to increase local production and attract international production in film and TV. It is now the sole entity authorised to issue audio and visual production permits for producers of film, TV and commercials in Dubai.

Hosted by Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of the Dubai Film & TV Commission, the panel was moderated by Mohammed Rouda, the renowned film critic, screenplay writer and author.  The group discussed what makes Dubai special for the film industry and producers, from its versatile locations to international standard of production facilities, and recent milestones in Dubai’s production industry.

Mr Al Sharif said, “The film commission was set up in May this year and since that day a lot has been achieved – we have a new website where producers can find out how to film and where to film in Dubai, and just last week MBC Group signed a strategic partnership agreement to occupy recently established sound stages in Dubai Studio City, which is a significant boost to the local content creation market. Dubai is putting itself on the map as a film location and we are proud to mark the official launch of the film commission in the setting of the Dubai International Film Festival”.

Also on the panel were: Eyad Abdulrahman, Managing Executive Director of Media Relations & Business Development at the Government of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Tim Smythe, CEO and Executive Producer of Filmworks; Fadi Ismail, General Manager of 03 Productions and Group Director of Services at MBC Group; and Samr Al Marqoozi, Manager of the Dubai Film Market at DIFF.

To find out more about the Dubai Film & TV Commission and how to film in Dubai, please

The DIFF box office is open online on at Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).

Tickets ‘One Night to Change Lives’ charity event to benefit Oxfam and Dubai Cares are available by telephone on +971 4 450 4531 or email or visit

Dubai International Film Festival is media monitored by Media Watch, the leaders in Middle East media monitoring services.

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