The UAE Oscar committee is holding its first meeting at DIFF Offices on Wednesday, 2nd August.
In attendance will be Abdulhamid Juma, chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival who will be joined by director and producer Abdullah Hasan Ahmed, poet and script writer Ahmed Salmeen, head of narrative film & television at ImageNation Ben Ross, co-founder and managing director of Cinema Akil Butheina Hamed Kazim, managing partner of Middle Eastern distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment Gianluca Chakra, artist and culture writer Hind Mezaina, chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission Jamal Al Sharif, MBC television executive and Festival director of ANA cinema Lina Matta, filmmaker Mohammed Al-Otaiba, film critic Mohammed Rouda and composer Taha Al Ajami.
It was earlier in May that the Dubai International Film Festival announced that the United Arab Emirates will now be able to submit an entry to The Academy’s foreign language film competition for the 90th Academy Awards. The UAE is now eligible to submit a feature-length film for consideration in this category. The ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2017 and will take place on March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
This is a positive step towards increasing the chances of a Middle East presence at the Oscars. In 2014, Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad received his second Oscar nomination for Omar which opened DIFF’s 10th edition, the film also received support from DIFF’s post-production programme Enjaaz. The film won the Best Film in the Muhr Arab Feature Competition along with Best Director for Abu-Assad.
The 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will be held December 6-13, 2017.