x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Diff begins casting call for entries

The Dubai International Film Festival is open for entries.

ABU DHABI // Professional, amateur and first-time film directors from around the world are being invited to submit entries for the 8th Dubai International Film Festival (Diff).

Last year, guests at the festival included the Oscar-winning actor and director Sean Penn, who was presented with the festival's lifetime achievement award.

Organisers expect to receive thousands of entries over the coming weeks for Diff, which starts on December 7. Last year 157 films from 57 countries were screened during the week-long event.

"We are thrilled to once more bring deserving films to the world's attention, and look forward to some challenging months of whittling down our final selection," said Masoud Amralla al Ali, the artistic director of Diff.

Entries for the Muhr Arab, Muhr Asia Africa and Muhr Emirati competitions, which offer total prize money of $600,000 (Dh2.2 million), and the non-competition section will be accepted until August 31.

Entrants will have to wait until the end of November before the final shortlist is revealed.

This year's festival is the second for the Muhr Emirati Awards. Fourteen films last year competed in the category, which was won by Nayla al Khaja.

Ms al Khaja's 15-minute short film, Manal(Bored), focused on the relationship between a young Emirati couple unhappy with their arranged marriage. The film later screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Applications are also being welcomed for grants from the Dubai Film Connection and Diff's post-production programme Enjaaz until August 1.

For more information on submission guidelines, visit dubaifilmfest.com.

zalhassani@thenational.ae