News

Programmers seek to strengthen DIFF offering in 2006

Sat Dec 17,2005

Dubai, December 17, 2005: Programmers at the 2nd Dubai International Film Festival are confident of showcasing a wider range of films next year. DIFF 2005 saw five new sections including Insights from Asia, Café Europe, Emerging Emaratis, In Honour of Africa and Dubai Discoveries.

Café Europe and Insights from Asia were put together by Simon Field who has been Director of Cinema at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1988. He was Director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam from 1996 to 2004 and is currently a director of Illuminations Films, London. Field said, “Running a festival is a complex operation with relation to the press and the public. At this year’s Festival I have seen all these factors operating well in Dubai. I can certainly say that this Festival is going to be a significant one for the region for the people and professionals soon. While the Café Europe section already existed in the first year, Insights from Asia was about pointing more directly to Asian cinema which was really important.”

The impact of cinema and its ability to offer insights to a culture were evident at the packed houses and discussions held after the screening of various films. Nashen Moodley, programmer for the new section In Honour of Africa, said: “We had sell-out screenings and discussions with directors and the actors were amazing. Dubai was happy to get an insight into Africa through cinema. I have been talking to sales agents and directors and the festival has been good for networking and business as well.” Programmer Uma Da Cunha for the Cinema from the Subcontinent section felt that the Festival was able to bring good cinema to the people.

“For the next year I would suggest that we take the Festival to other parts of UAE as well.” Another programmer who feels the Festival has served it purpose well is Ziad Khuzai of the Dubai Discoveries section. He said, “The target of the Festival was not only to present new faces from the Arab world but also to provide new ideas to emerging Arab talent on how to fund their projects. We want to replicate the success of Paradise Now, which got support and funding from the World Film Fund.”

The second Dubai International Film Festival ends Saturday, December 17, 2005. The Festival is presented by Dubai Media City and its Founding Sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Properties, Emirates, Etisalat and the Madinat Jumeirah – the Arabian Resort. The Festival’s Gold Sponsors are Bin Hendi Enterprises, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime, The Kanoo Group and The Palm Jumeirah; the Silver Sponsors are Filmworks, Motivate Publishing and Sony.

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