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Muhr Submissions

Rules & Regulations

The Dubai International Film Festival (“DIFF”) is the leading film festival in the Arab world. Since its inception in 2004, DIFF has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region.

Film submissions for the 14th edition of DIFF, running from December 6-13, 2017, will open on April 1st.

If you wish to have your film considered for DIFF 2017 please read carefully and accept the Rules and Regulations before submitting your film.

Please note we are accepting submissions for Muhr Awards sections only, all other sections in DIFF’s Official Programme are solely curated by DIFF’s programmers.

DIFF’s heavily contested competition for feature fiction and non-fiction films originating from the Arab World will compete for the following prestigious Muhr Awards.
  • Muhr Feature
  • Muhr Short
  • Muhr Gulf Short
  • Muhr Emirati

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY

  • In order to be eligible for the Official Programme, your film must have been completed after September 1, 2016.
  • We require that all short and feature films are not be commercially exhibited or released on any media platform (or window) in any country in the Arab World (see Appendix 1) prior to us hosting the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Premiere. Exceptions maybe applied on a case-by-case basis.
  • Films must not have been entirely or partially broadcasted and/or made available on any television, the internet, mobile phones and/or any other public viewing platform worldwide until after the 14th edition of DIFF closes on 13th December, 2017.
  • Films that have been submitted to earlier editions of DIFF will not be considered unless substantial changes have been made since the initial submission.

ELIGIBILITY – MUHR FEATURE AND SHORT AWARDS

  • Films must be directed by a filmmaker of Arab Nationality or Origin as defined in Appendix 2.
  • The subject and storyline of the films should be centered on the Arab World, its history and/or culture.
  • Feature films: Films must be a work of fiction that equals or exceeds 60 minutes in duration or non-fiction that equals or exceeds 52 minutes in duration.
  • Short films: Films can be a work of fiction that does not exceed 59 minutes in duration, or non-fiction that does not exceed 51 minutes in duration.

ELIGIBILITY – MUHR GULF SHORT AWARDS

  • Films must be directed by a filmmaker of Gulf Nationality or Origin as defined in Appendix 3.
  • Films can be a work of fiction that does not exceed 59 minutes in duration, or non-fiction that does not exceed 51 minutes in duration. There are no specific guidelines on the subject and storyline of the films.

ELIGIBILITY – MUHR EMIRATI AWARDS

  • Films must be directed by an Emirati filmmaker.

SELECTION COMMITTEE AND JURY

  • The relevant DIFF committee will review all films and will have the final decision on whether the film will be part of the Muhr Awards sections or Out-of-competition Programme irrespective of the eligible category it has been submitted into.
  • Muhr Awards Jury: DIFF will appoint three separate juries from the international community to decide on prize winners for the Muhr Awards.

MUHR FEATURE AWARDS

The following awards will be presented in the Muhr Feature category:
  • Best Muhr Fiction Feature - AED 200,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film
  • Best Muhr non-Fiction Feature - AED 100,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film
  • Special Jury Prize Muhr Feature (Fiction or Non- Fiction) - AED 50,000. The prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film
  • Best Director - AED 20,000
  • Best Actor - AED 10,000
  • Best Actress - AED 10,000

MUHR SHORT AWARDS

  • Best Muhr Short – AED 50,000. The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film, and the winner will automatically qualify for consideration for the 2018 “©Oscar®” Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Special Jury Prize: Muhr Short - AED 25,000, the prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.

MUHR GULF SHORT AWARDS

  • Best Muhr Gulf Short – AED 50,000 where the cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.
  • Special Jury Prize: Muhr Gulf Short - AED 25,000. The prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.

MUHR EMIRATI AWARDS

  • Best Muhr Emirati Short – AED 50,000 The cash prize will be awarded to the director(s) of the winning film.
  • Best Emirati Director – AED 20,000
Eligibility for People’s Choice Award: All feature films selected in DIFF Official Programme with the exception of Cinema for Children and feature films which are out of our General Eligibility rules.


SUBMISSIONS

  • Deadline: Entries of online submission forms in English and/or Arabic and film viewing copies (to be included as a link on the submission form) must be completed and submitted by August 31st, 2017.
  • All films must be submitted in their original language. If the original language of the film is not in English, the viewing copy must be subtitled in English.
  • If you are submitting a ‘work-in-progress’ film please ensure that the WIP check box is ticked on the submission form. For the avoidance of doubt, all other terms related to submissions shall be herein applicable. The selection committee will evaluate WIP films based on the submitted version.
We retain the right to keep all online submissions forms as well as viewing copies for our internal use only. We reserve the right to download the viewing copies (all formats) and transfer them to a master hard drive digital library, building a digital reference archive . We will not theatrically or publicly screen for commercial or non- commercial purposes any films without the express written consent of the appropriate rights holder(s) of the concerned film.

The viewing copies are shared with the relevant selection committee for viewing and assessment via an internal secured platform only made available by restricted access provided by us only to the members of the selection committees.

For any inquiries regarding DIFF Submissions, please click here.

SELECTED FILMS

The relevant selection committee will, at its own discretion, select the films for the Official Programme either in DIFF Muhr Awards or Out-of-Competition sections.

If a film is selected for the Official Programme, we will send an official selection letter within the first half of November 2017 and will advise of further requirements and next steps.

We reserve the first right to announce the Official Programme. All those associated with the film selected shall in no case, prior to the official announcement made by us, publicly announce directly or indirectly and confirm that the film is part of the Official Programme.

The Official Programme will be announced by the end of November 2017.

If a film has not been selected, we will inform the submitter by letter prior to the announcement of the Official Programme. However, it is our policy not to provide any feedback, comments or reasons for films that are not selected.

Once a film is selected and confirmed, the submitter will not be able to withdraw the film or change the Premiere status of the film at any given time before it is screened at DIFF.

Screenings & Scheduling:

Selected films will be screened up to two times to DIFF’s public audiences. At the discretion of DIFF, the film prior to DIFF’s public festival screenings may receive additional screenings one for the accredited press and one for the jury amounting to a possible 4 screenings in total.

DIFF will at its sole discretion decide on the dates and order of the screening(s) of each film.

Final Exhibition Copy:

The final exhibition copy of the film can only be submitted in one of the following formats and sent as a hard drive or via online transfer service.
  • Movie files: Apple pro res LT, Apple pro res HQ, Apple pro res 422, H264
  • DCP
It is our general policy to screen all films in their original language version with English subtitles for non-English language films.

Selected films should be submitted with a high resolution copy of the trailer used for promotional purposes. We shall be entitled, without giving prior notice, to use the trailer online and on broadcast TV for periods of time to be solely decided by us.

The exhibition copy of the film must be received in good condition and we reserve the right to refuse exhibition copies if not in good condition and to request the submitter to re-submit a new copy. In the event that the submitter fails to submit an exhibition copy suitable for screening and in good condition, then we reserve the right to cancel the selection of the film without any liability whatsoever.

Exhibition Copy Shipping:

Exhibition copies are accepted as online file transfer or as hard drive. The shipping costs to and from our premises will be borne by us. We will return the exhibition copy that is in hard drive form at the end of DIFF. To arrange for the delivery of the exhibition copy of the film at the end of DIFF, the Print Traffic Manager shall contact the print source of the film by email to arrange for the delivery. In the event that the print source does not revert back to the Print Traffic Manager with delivery instruction in writing within 30 working days from the date of the email, we shall keep the exhibition copy in our possession with no obligation to further follow up with the print source for the delivery. Should the print source ask for the exhibition copy back post the deadline mentioned herein and up to 12 months from the date of the email then we shall return the exhibition copy at its own cost. Upon the expiry of the said 12 month period 1) the exhibition copy of the film shall continue to be in our possession or we may dispose of it in our sole discretion, 2) we shall not be under any obligation whatsoever to return the exhibition copy to the print source and/or the rights holder (s), 3) the print source and/or the rights holder(s) shall have no right for any compensation or other claims against us, and 4)only at our sole discretion shall we return the exhibition copy to the print source and/or the right holder(s) as instructed and print source and/or the right holder(s) shall bear the shipment costs.

Exhibition copy Insurance:

Exhibition copies of all films selected for DIFF will be insured throughout the period in which they are in our custody. In the case of loss or damage during DIFF, we will be responsible only for the replacement value of the exhibition copy, if the said exhibition copy was originally received by us in good condition.


ADDITIONAL TERMS

In the event that the submitter is found to be in violation of any condition of the Rules and Regulations, we, at our sole discretion, may choose to cancel and eliminate such film from the Official Programme without any liability whatsoever.

Censorship: No editorial cuts or changes to any film will be made at any time by us for any reason or under any circumstances.

Anti-Piracy Precautions: We will take all possible and reasonable anti-piracy precautions. All exhibition copies and associated copyrighted materials will be securely stored while on our premises. Access is limited to our authorized staff only and all movement of exhibition copies will be strictly monitored. No duplication or loaning is permitted and no exhibition copies will ever leave the custody and care of us or our authorized staff during DIFF unless authorized in writing by the rights owner of the film.

DIFF/Muhr Logo and Laurels: All DIFF selected films including Muhr Awards winners undertake to include, in a clear and visible manner, on the Home Video release of their film (i.e. DVD, Blu Ray, online availability) and on any and all promotional material (including but not limited to posters, banners, EPK’s, website) a specific logo or laurels to be provided by us.

Viewing Copies: We will make a copy of the final version of the selected film for accredited press screening purposes during the period of DIFF on a closed internal circuit where no copy or duplication of the film can be made by third parties.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND UNDERTAKING

Submission and participation in the Official Programme is an explicit acceptance of the Rules and Regulations.

The submitter hereby represents and warrants that he/she holds all rights in and to the film and its related materials and that he/she has the authority and capacity to submit the film and its related material for the Official Programme on behalf of the rights holder(s) of the film.

Except as stated in the Rules and Regulations, the submitter acknowledges that we shall not be held liable or responsible in any manner whatsoever for any loss or damage of whatever type or nature incurred as a result of the submission, acceptance and/or screening of the film and/or its related material. Furthermore, the submitter undertakes to indemnify and keep us indemnified against all liabilities, claims, demands, actions, costs, damages or loss arising out of the submission, acceptance and/or screening of the film and/or its related material.

The submitter also understands and acknowledges that the online submission form and the Rules and Regulations is a consolidated and unified document and therefore the online submission form shall be considered as incorporated herein by reference.


APPENDIX 1

Arab World shall mean the following countries:
Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

APPENDIX 2

Arab Nationality or Origin shall mean people from one or more of the following countries:
Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

APPENDIX 3

Gulf Nationality or Origin shall mean people from one or more of the following countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Yemen.

APPENDIX 4

References to ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’, are references to Dubai Entertainment and Media Organisation FZ LLC, the owner and organiser of DIFF.



For any further questions regarding DIFF Submissions, please click here.