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Last week Abu Dhabi scrapped its support for the capital city’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Its Media Zone will continue and centre its work of the fast-growing facilities from TwoFour54 and giving tempting 30 per cent cash-rebates to film and programme-makers who create their content in the Emirate. But the Film Festival, which has been a key event in the region’s cultural calendar for the past 8 years, has ended.
In its place, and seemingly keen to fill the gap, is an announcement from Dubai’s International Film Festival (DIFF) saying that it will launch a Dubai Film Market, alongside the Dubai Film Connection, to “strengthen its programme to further support filmmakers and promote Arab cinema”. Its 12th Edition will run from December 9th – 16th, 2015. The expanded event is being run in partnership with the famous Cannes Film Festival (the Marché du Film).
Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s MD says: “We’re very excited to reinstate the Dubai Film Connection (DFC). The filmmakers and industry professionals wanted it back and we listened. By offering the right networking and support opportunities the DFC opens doors for Arab talent to promote and develop their film projects and it becomes a platform for producers and funds to find the best Arab projects ready for production.”
Dubai’s ays its DFC is now open for submissions for feature-length fiction and documentary projects in development by directors of Arab nationality or origin. The co-production market introduces Arab filmmakers to regional and international film backers and organisations.
Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, the Official ‘Festival-Time’ Partner of the DIFF, continue their support with the highly anticipated fourth IWC Filmmaker Award offering a cash prize of $100,000 which will help the winning filmmaker bring their ideas to life on screen. This collaboration reinforces IWC’s global commitment to promoting the film-making industry and supporting talent in cinema with submissions opening later this month.