13 Arab film projects shortlisted for Dubai Film Connection prize money and partnership opportunities

13 projects shortlisted for USD 60,000 prize pool and a chance to gain access to renowned Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network and Tribeca Film Institute
Dubai Film Connection prize
Dubai Film Connection prize

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Thirteen exciting film projects from the region have been shortlisted to take part in this year’s Dubai Film Connection (DFC), the co-production platform of the Dubai Film Market. The regional filmmakers will attend DFC with their documentary and fiction projects in the hope of securing crucial funding and partnership opportunities to bring their films to production. Running during the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) from 6 – 13 December, DFC has helped to bring more than 300 films from across the Arab world to global audiences, securing them international recognition on the way.

DFC provides a platform for Middle Eastern filmmakers to acquire more than USD 60,000 in award money and build all-important connections with film professionals from across the industry. The supporting institutions who have contributed to the award’s generous prize pool and make this all possible as part of DFC include: EUR 5,000 from the Centre National du Cinema (CNC) Award; USD 10,000 from the Arab Radio and Television (ART) Award; USD 10,000 The Hideaway Entertainment Award; USD 10,000 from the Cinescape/Front Row Award; and USD 25,000 from the Dubai International Film Festival.

With vital funding and unparalleled networking opportunities on the line, the 13 exciting projects contending at this year’s DFC are:

  • ‘The Alleys’ by Jordanian filmmaker Bassel Ghandour
  • ‘God Bless Buddies’ by Tunisian filmmaker Lotfi Achour
  • ‘You Will Die at Twenty’ by Sudanese filmmaker Amjad Abu Alala
  • ‘Zero One One’ by Syrian filmmaker Mohamad Malas
  • ‘Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous’ by Lebanese filmmaker Wissam Charaf
  • ‘Costa Brava Lebanon’ by Lebanese filmmaker Mounia Akl
  • ‘School of Hope’ by Moroccan filmmaker Mohamed El Aboudi
  • ‘The Syrians’ by Tunisian filmmaker Mohamed Ismail Laouti
  • ‘It’s Far Away Where I Must Go’ by Moroccan filmmaker Karima Saidi
  • ‘Europa’ by Iraqi filmmaker Haider Rashid
  • ‘I Dreamt of Empire’ by Egyptian filmmaker Kasem Kharsa
  • ‘The Unwanted’ by Moroccan filmmaker Anwar Boulifa
  • ‘In Vitro’ by Palestinian filmmaker Larissa Sansour

In addition to the winners of crucial funding, the DFC will also select five participating Arab producers to receive complimentary accreditation to the Producers Network at the Cannes Film Festival 2018, a high-profile networking programme featuring producers from around the world. With the support of SØRFOND, Norwegian South Film Fund for films from developing markets, up to two DFC projects will also be invited to the Sorfond Pitching Forum, held during the 2018 Films from the South Festival in Oslo. 

Filmmakers will also have an opportunity to bring their project to unmatched production forums, with an invitation for a DFC fiction project to the renowned Tribeca Film Institute, which takes place at the famed festival. The Robert Bosch Stiftung Institution will also invite one project to its Amman Project Market, to help a budding non-fiction film from the region find a German co-producer.

Commenting on the exceptional opportunities and robust competition at this year’s DFC, Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director, said: “We are extremely proud to work alongside the returning and new partners that support the DFC to help drive cinematic growth in the region. With its funding and networking opportunities, DFC continues to be a key platform for emerging filmmakers in the Arab world, and our partners from across the globe are crucial in generating international support and recognition of the amazing work coming from this region.”

Jane Williams, Director – Dubai Film Connection, added: “The Dubai Film Connection plays a central part in supporting regional filmmakers from the Arab world by helping them bring their projects from a working title to the big screen. By giving crucial funding and access to industry professionals from around the world, it helps new and established filmmakers realise their projects and be inspired to create new and innovative films. We are very thankful for the support provided by our generous partners that contributes to the development of the region’s thriving film industry.”

The Dubai International Film Festival will run from December 6-13, 2017 and ticket packages are on sale now, for more information visit diff.ae.

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