The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) Chairman Abdulhamid Juma and it’s Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali received the first ever Arab Cinema Personality of the Year Award at the Berlin International Film Festival this weekend. Presented by the Arab Cinema Center in collaboration with The Hollywood Reporter, the award was given in recognition of the Festival’s impact on the development of regional cinema. The DIFF now in its 15th year has established itself as the strongest Middle East film festival and market attracting top Hollywood and international names, and has become an important fixture in the international film festival calendar.
Commenting on the award, Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “It’s a true honour for DIFF to be selected for this award and a special moment as we prepare to enter our fifteenth edition. Over the past fifteen years, we have been lucky enough to support the regional film industry through a period of immense growth. The presentation of this award at the Berlin International Film Festival is also a clear mark of the expanding presence of Arab cinema on the world stage. I would like to extend my thanks to the Arab Cinema Center and The Hollywood Reporter for that recognition of everything the dedicated DIFF team have achieved.”
The award was presented to Abdulhamid Juma and Masoud Amralla Al Ali in a ceremony at the Marriott Hotel by Alaa Karkouti, managing partner of MAD Solutions who founded the Arab Cinema Center, and Alex Ritman of The Hollywood Reporter.
DIFF’s Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “I am grateful to the Arab Cinema Center and The Hollywood Reporter for to receive this honour alongside my colleague and friend, Chairman Abdulhamid Juma. The increasing role that Arab cinema is playing in the global film industry is a true testament to the incredible talent in the region. Supporting the next generation of Arab filmmakers sits at the heart of DIFF and we are excited to embark on our fifteenth edition later this year, which will share the latest and greatest of regional cinema with the world.”
Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, Arab Cinema Center is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema, which aims to provide the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with counterparts from across the globe. In addition to the award, Arab Cinema Centre announced at DIFF 2017 that it will host its second annual Critics Award during the Cannes Film Festival in May of this year to recognize the best in Arab Film production.