DIFF Opens its Doors to Ambitious Writing Talent with 2016 Young Journalist Award
Sun Oct 23, 2016

- Eight shortlisted writers will work alongside Gulf News Tabloid! at DIFF to hone their journalistic expertise with one eventual winner offered an internship at Gulf News
- Submissions open now

Dubai, 23 October 2016: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced the return of the Young Journalist Award (YJA), open to young writers wanting to pursue a career in entertainment journalism. The 13th edition of DIFF will provide a unique opportunity for eight passionate and ambitious film journalists to gain first-hand industry experience whilst working on the ground to report at the Festival. Of those eight, one will not only take home the prestigious Young Journalist Award title at the close of the Festival, but will also be awarded an internship at Gulf News.

The YJA provides hands-on experience for budding writers hoping to break into the industry by providing them with unprecedented support and mentorship from Gulf News Tabloid!, the UAE’s most popular entertainment publisher, during DIFF. The initiative provides the perfect opportunity for enthusiastic university students and those in their final high school years from across the Emirates to add value to their studies and gain a head start in their career. Ambitious writers can apply by submitting a written example of their work to press@filmfest.ae by 20th November, 2016.

Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF’s Chairman, commented on the programme: “DIFF is not just about supporting filmmakers and directors; we want to use the Festival to provide a platform for people working across all disciplines that contribute to the success of the film industry, and that includes journalism. With the support of Gulf News, the Young Journalist Award offers an invaluable experience for all young writers. It is not just an award but a week-long training programme for the finalists and we look forward to welcoming them all to contribute to the heartbeat of the Festival this year.”

Sayema Wasi, the talented and worthy winner of YJA 2015 expressed the benefits of the competition: “Being part of the Young Journalist Award competition during DIFF 2015 opened so many doors for me that I hadn't thought I could even knock on. The experience itself is both glamorous and eye-opening, with an incredibly prestigious and sought-after prize. Regardless of who wins the competition, the YJA program is a fantastic learning opportunity for those with a passion for journalism and a love for the arts.”

Mohammed Almezel, Managing Editor, Gulf News commented: “Gulf News is proud to be associated with this prestigious event for the third year. Our partnership with DIFF, especially in the field of entertainment journalism, in the past two years saw many young talented writers. I'm looking forward to seeing more this year. Our region needs more entertainment and film journalists and we are privileged to work with DIFF to nurture young talents in this field.”

Natalie Long, Editor, tabloid!, said: “High schoolers and university students -- make sure you apply for this unique programme. There is so much to learn and a lot of fun to be had whilst doing it. Our YJA participants always impress me with their reporting and writing skills as they cover one of Dubai’s most important cultural events. We can’t wait to see who will join us this year.”

Candidates interested in taking part must be UAE nationals or residents of the UAE and a student enrolled in University of any major, or in their final year of High School. Entrants must be available to participate in the Dubai International Film Festival’s YJA from December 7 – 14, 2016 inclusive. Applicants can register by emailing their resumes, a copy of a current passport/visa page and a review on the last film they watched to press@filmfest.ae.

Registration is now open for media, students and industry professionals for the 13th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival which will take place from the 7th December – 14th December, 2016.