It’s been an exhilarating weekend at DIFF 2012 ….full of amazing movies, boat rides that are more awesome than Venice, red carpet moments, indulging little diva with cast and directors of children’s films from abroad, meeting fellow script editors, catching up with media friends….and more. The weather in Dubai is absolutely amazing so being out and about makes absolute sense. Right now little diva (NJD) and I are having hot chocolate on the patio of Kubba at Al Qasr hotel overlooking the sea, beautiful landscapes, boats winding their way from one place to another and of course and amazing view of the Burj Al Arab….amongst this is all the hustle and bustle of DIFF 2012 which, as a member of Universal Film Makers, I feel like I am in heaven…the talent at DIFF 2012 is inspiring, entertaining and uplifting.
To support the industry, DIFF has also announced the winners of its Dubai Film Connection (DFC), a highly successful co-production market held in conjunction with the festival introduces selected film projects by Arab filmmakers to regional and international film professionals.
The awards of over USD100,000 represent three prizes from DIFF of USD25,000, as well as other awards from international organisations including:the Film Clinic /DIFF Debut Feature Award of USD10,000; EUR6,000 from ARTE to a filmmaker for exceptional originality, writing style and motivation; USD 10,000 for the Front Row / KNCC Award which is new for 2012; EUR5,000 from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, presented to a film produced and directed in a Francophone Arab country; and accreditation for the prestigious Producers Network at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 for 10 Arab producers participating at the DFC.
The awards of course add additional support for filmmakers as the sole aim of DFC is to promote film production in the Arab world. The Dubai Film Connection was launched in 2007. Since then, 31 projects have been completed and a further 13 are in various stages of production. Recent successes include Wadjdaby Haifaa Al Mansour; When I Saw You by Annemarie Jacir; and Fidai by Damien Ounouri. It is awesome seeing all this talent being given a chance to shine!