This year's Gulf Film Festival (GFF) has begun accepting submissions.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the event's sixth edition runs from April 11 to 17.
Both up-and-coming and established auteurs are invited to submit entries for the GFF's three categories: Gulf Films, Gulf Students' Shorts and International Shorts. More than Dh500,000 in funding will be awarded to the winning filmmakers.
The Gulf Films category is open to feature and short filmmakers from the Gulf or filmmakers with a movie that showcases the region. To qualify for the Gulf Students' Shorts category, applicants must be current students in the Gulf. The International category is open to anyone from around the world.
Both fiction and non-fiction films are accepted. Entries for all the categories can be submitted through www.gulffilmfest.com until February 25.
The film festival's director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said in a statement: "As the home of contemporary cinema from the Arabian peninsula, the key success factor for GFF lies in the quality and diversity of films submitted and showcased from around the region.
"This festival offers a window into the lives, issues and opinions of the region through raw, emotive and thought-provoking stories powerfully brought to life through the wonder of film. I have no doubt that this year's submissions will offer strong competition and raise the bar - not only for filmmakers across the region, but also across the globe."
The GFF has established itself as a chief promoter of regional filmmakers, shining an international spotlight on the best of Arab cinema. Aside from the three competitive categories, the festival is also home to multiple out-of-competition segments including Lights, Intersections and Films For Children. There will also be masterclasses and discussions about the industry.
With an eye on the business element of the industry, the GFF will also host the second edition of Gulf Script Market for Short Films. The initiative aims to support scriptwriters by assisting them with script development and forging partnerships between producers and directors. To participate, submit an application on the GFF website before March 15. — The National staff