Shortlist announced for IWC filmmaker Award

Three Gulf contenders nominated for award at upcoming 12th edition of DIFF
2014's IWC Filmmaker Award winner, Abdullah Boushahri, alongside Marc Forster and Emily Blunt.
2014's IWC Filmmaker Award winner, Abdullah Boushahri, alongside Marc Forster and Emily Blunt.

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The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, Official ‘Festival-Time’ Partner and ‘Supporting Sponsor’ of DIFF, have announced the shortlist for the prestigious IWC Filmmaker Award, which supports filmmakers from the Gulf in taking their project from script to the big screen.

Three directors will present their projects at the 12th Dubai International Film Festival from December 9th to 16th, 2015, with the winner receiving a cash prize of $100,000.

The nominees for the award are: Qatari director Khalifa Al Muraikhi, for his project 'Sahaab'; Saudi director Shahad Ameen, for her feature 'Scales'; and Emirati director Layla Kaylif for 'The Letter Writer'. The winner of the IWC Filmmaker Award will be announced at an IWC gala event on December 10th.

The shortlisted nominees will have their films reviewed by an esteemed panel of film industry experts. All entries will be scrutinised and critiqued to determine the overall potential of each script and the project as a whole.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, DIFF’s artistic director, commented: “Thanks to the IWC Filmmaker Award, both emerging and established directors have an unparalleled opportunity for global recognition and to take their projects from script to screen. The Gulf region is rich in culture and stories, which provides an inspiring canvas for regional filmmakers to bring their ideas to life. That is what we aim to celebrate at the festival and beyond, by providing a platform to share their gripping tales with the global community.”

During the 11th edition of DIFF last year, Golden Globe winner and IWC Schaffhausen brand ambassador Emily Blunt presented the IWC Filmmaker Award to Abdullah Boushahri for his film 'The Water'. At the same event, Emirati filmmaker Waleed Al Shehhi – who received the IWC Filmmaker Award in 2013 Cate Blanchett – premiered his feature film 'Dolphins' to a sold-out audience.

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