Record submissions for Dubai film fest


The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, has seen a 60% increase in submissions for the 10th edition which takes place from 6 to 14 December 2013.

More than 3,500 entries from 143 countries have been received, with a 35% contribution from Arab countries.

A considerable increase in entries is apparent across all regions, but encouraging growth has been noted from surrounding countries and the US. Submissions from South Asian countries increased dramatically while Canada, Denmark, Spain, Belgium and Qatar have doubled their submissions from last year.

This year sees first-time entries from Belarus, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Laos and Puerto Rico.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, artistic director of the DIFF, says: “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.’

Examples of potential contenders are Egypt’s Winter of Discontent by Ibrahim El Batout, Saudi Arabia’s Wadjda by Haifaa Al Mansour, Lebanon’s Blind Intersections by Lara Saba, Iran’s The Past by Asghar Farhad and Italy’s The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino.

“With such a diverse selection of submissions to choose from we are in a position to bring the very best of cinema to DIFF audiences this December,’ adds Amralla Al Ali.

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