Dubai International Film Festival Announces Dates for 2007 Edition

Tue Feb 27,2007

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced the 2007 edition will be held from 9 - 16 December.  In its fourth year, the festival will continue to grow under the honorary chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The 2006 festival saw its greatest success, growing exponentially since its inaugural year to reflect record breaking figures in registration, box office sales and films showcased from around the world.

Festival management also announced that Neil Stephenson, CEO and Festival Director will step down from his position to pursue other endeavours.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma, serving three of the four years since the festival’s inception, will continue to lead DIFF as it evolves and expands its growth and vision as the region’s leading international film festival. Shivani Pandya, managing director of the festival, will return for her fourth year, continuing to direct the strategic and operational aspects of the festival.

Arabic programming artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali and International artistic director Simon Field will continue their roles this year, with increased creative authority for the festival’s overall programme direction.

One of the most important aspects of DIFF 2006 was the addition of the first competitive section in the festival, the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema. A purse of over AED 1 million in prize money was granted in total to the winners, reinforcing DIFF’s commitment to cultivate growth in local filmmaking and help advance talent in the region internationally. The competition has been integrated as a vital part of the festival’s future editions. 

Another pivotal element was the introduction of the first annual Industry Office programme that was embraced with huge success, bringing domestic, regional and international film industries together to discuss important initiatives such as film funding, producing, directing and distribution, while pairing industry professionals together to further network and learn. 

Juma stated: “We are proud about being an effective forum, stimulating cross cultural dialogue and raising awareness through DIFF. The festival is widely recognised as a credible platform for filmmakers to showcase their work and discuss important world issues. In the coming editions, we aim to foster growth within our own film community and elevate awareness of talent on an international level.”

Currently planning for the next edition, DIFF will continue to deliver innovative and universally important programming, following its mandate to foster inter-cultural dialogue.  Given the importance for growth within the Arab filmmaking community, DIFF has established itself among other high profile festivals, attracting international support and attendance to firmly substantiate its place on the film festival circuit.

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