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New Arab Film Competition at next Dubai Fest

As the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) gathers momentum for its third edition this December, it is inviting submissions in the categories of features, shorts and documentaries to its new Arab Film Competition.

“DIFF has launched an Arab Film Competition in order to fulfill one of its core objectives – showcasing and promoting excellence in Arab cinema,” commented Festival CEO, Neil Stephenson.

The Competition satisfies this objective through carefully composed criteria - films must be made by a director of Arab nationality or origin, and the subject and storyline of the film must be centered on the Arab world and/or Arab history or culture.

“The Competition serves to provide Arab filmmakers an opportunity to receive recognition for outstanding work, and encourage production of films that spread knowledge and understanding of the Arab world and its rich culture. It is also in strategic harmony with the Festival’s theme of ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds’,” added Stephenson.

Other competition criteria include: The films must have been produced between 1 January 2005 and 21 September 2006. The film should not have been released commercially in the UAE before 17 December 2006, and should not previously have been shown on any television channel or streamed via the internet to any public audience. The deadline for submissions is 21 September 2006.

A top judging panel from the international and Arab film community will review submissions, and shortlist ten films in each of the three categories. Entrants of the submissions that get selected will be notified by 15 November 2006.

The first three prize winning directors in each category will be awarded attractive cash prizes and a DIFF certificate at an awards ceremony during the festival in December.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Arab Artistic Director of DIFF said “Many festival-goers have expressed a high interest in viewing Arab cinema. Through the launch of this competition, we want to support and strengthen the local and regional film industries. It is also part of a bigger strategic vision to grow Dubai’s own film industry base.”

Competition criteria details and entry forms for DIFF 2006 are available on www.dubaifilmfest.com, the official website of the Dubai International Film Festival.

Films that do not meet with the competition criteria and have not been commercially screened in the UAE can be submitted for consideration in DIFF’s ‘Out of Competition’ Arabian Nights or Emerging Emiratis sections.

The Dubai International Film Festival is scheduled to be held from 10-17 December 2006.

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