The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has unveiled the lineup of new projects it will nurture in this year's Dubai Film Connection (DFC), an invitation-only co-production market running from the 13 to 17 December with the mandate of bringing international film professionals into contact with Arab filmmakers.
In 2007, DFC selected 15 projects from all regions of the Arabic-speaking world as well as Canada, United States, France, Germany, Spain, and United Kingdom. Five projects have already completed filming and a further three are scheduled to go into production before the end of the year.
“It is incredible that after our first year, we are able to state that over half of our projects have been or are in production,” commented Shivani Pandya DIFF’s managing director. “Clearly the quality of the projects impressed the international professionals in attendance, and DIFF’s aim of extending the platform for showcasing Arab talent was highly successful with this programme.”
This year, DIFF received 108 applications representing 25 nations throughout the globe, including a significant increase of submissions from the Maghreb from first-time filmmakers as well as those who already have three to four productions behind them.
“Of the 18 projects we have selected, we are looking forward to matchmaking another successful series of films,” added Pandya.
The DFC prizes and awards have been increased for 2008 from US $15,000 to 25,000.
The 2007 projects that were greenlighted are: The One Man Village, directed by 2007 DFC Award winner Simon El Habre, screening in the Muhr Awards documentary competition; Amreeka, directed by Cherien Dabis, also a 2007 DFC winner, which is in post-production; Every Day is a Holiday, by Dima El Horr, also in post-production; Fix Me, directed Raed Andoni, DFC 2007 Arte Award winner, which has just completed principal photography; and Port of Memory by Kamal Al Jafari, currently in production in Jaffa.