DIFF has announced a record number of submissions for the upcoming 10th edition of the festival in December.
Receiving over 3,500 film submissions from 143 countries, the overwhelming response and over 60% increase from 2012 reaffirms that filmmakers from around the world are keen to participate in DIFF.
Since the inaugural Festival back in 2004 the number of submissions has risen year on year with an encouraging increase from the Arab world which this year contributes to 35% of the submissions.
The diverse selection of submissions saw films coming from some first time entrants including Belarus, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Laos and Puerto Rico.
From South Asia there were dramatic increases in the number of film submissions from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. And from Europe there was a boost from many countries with Denmark, Spain and Belgium doubling their film submissions from last year.
Submissions from North America also escalated with submissions doubling from Canada and encouraging growth from the United States. Closer to home there was an encouraging rise from Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Lebanon and Morocco with submissions from Qatar doubling.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director, Dubai International Film Festival, said: “Every year we receive a high amount of submissions but this year we have been blown away by the high calibre, quality filmmakers who have sent in their films to be considered for our decennial addition. It’s encouraging to once again see an increase in submissions from the region and the past 12 months have seen a significant number of Arab films succeed at an international level. Several regional and international films presented at DIFF last year and films from this year’s Festival are currently being considered for the Oscars from their respective countries such as Egypt’s contender
“Winter of Discontent” from Ibrahim El Batout, Saudi Arabia’s contender “Wadjda” from Haifaa Al Mansour, Lebanon’s representative “Blind Intersections” from Lara Saba, Iran’s entry “The Past” from Asghar Farhad and from Italy The Great Beauty from Paolo Sorrentino. With such a diverse selection of submissions to choose from we are in position to bring the very best of cinema to DIFF audiences this December.”