Gulf Film Festival receives 1,250 entries
Dubai, March 25, 2012
The fifth Gulf Film Festival (GFF), the home of contemporary cinema from the Arabian Peninsula, has already received nearly 1,250 submissions from over 90 countries for its various competitions.
The submissions for its Official Gulf, Official Students and International Shorts competitions are currently being short-listed for screening during GFF 2012 to be held from April 10 to 16 in and around venues at Dubai Festival City.
The UAE leads in the number of submissions at over 147, followed by 111 entries from Spain, 96 from France, 77 from Iraq, 59 from Egypt and 51 from Germany.
Demonstrating the importance that GFF plays in promoting regional filmmaking talent, there are an impressive 36 submissions from Saudi Arabia and 27 from Bahrain.
There are submissions from Afghanistan, Chile, Bosnia, Croatia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania and Montenegro as well as from the more popular film producing countries including the US, UK, Brazil, Australia, Canada, India, Italy, and China.
The submissions are in more than 60 languages with Arabic films leading the list at over 429, followed by English at 193, as well as entries in anything from Amazigh to Greek and Icelandic to Malayalam, and over 124 silent films, representing the diversity of choices that potentially await film lovers at the festival.
Submissions for the International Shorts competition dominate the number of entries at over 739, highlighting the growing interest in GFF across the world. There are 161 submissions for the Official Gulf Shorts competition, 143 for the Official Students Shorts and some 33 submissions for Official Gulf Features.
The final programme listing the films short-listed for screening will be announced shortly. The selected entries will be evaluated during the festival by an eminent jury, with the winners set to receive more than half a million dirhams ($136,120) in prize money. Last year over 153 films were selected, including the out-of-competition official selection. This year, a similar, if not more, number of films is expected to make the final cut.
An additional attraction at GFF this year, the ‘Cherries of Kiarostami’ segment, featuring shorts by filmmakers who attended a master-workshop led by veteran Iranian director at the festival last year, has 38 submissions. The festival’s official selection for the Films for Children, Intersection and Lights segments have also attracted a significant number of submissions.
The festival’s inaugural ‘Gulf Script Market for Short Films,’ an initiative that will finesse the scriptwriting skills of regional writers and filmmakers, partner them with directors and producers, and help turn the completed scripts into reality, has received more than 88 submissions.
Ten to 15 projects will be selected from these entries, with shortlisted teams invited to a three-day mentoring session with industry professionals during GFF 2012.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, festival director, Gulf Film Festival, said: “The number of submissions and the diversity of nations they represent indicate the global reach of the festival. What is particularly surprising for us is the number of Arabic submissions that have come from different parts of the world, highlighting that people of Gulf origin, living in different continents, are looking at GFF as a platform to connect with their roots.”
“We have also seen a remarkable increase in the number of collaborative ventures, especially by filmmakers in the Arab world and Europe. As we progress on our short-listing process, we see a commendable number of high quality entries, which will in turn make our competition sections richer in content and diversity,” Al Ali added.
GFF’s Gulf Competition is open to filmmakers from the Arabian Peninsula including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Yemen and Iraq, as well as filmmakers of other nationalities with films showcasing the region.
The Gulf Student Competition is open to works from the region made or produced by students during their academic study, or as part of a college project. Entries in the Gulf Competition are invited in feature films (fiction and non-fiction) and shorts. Students compete in short films only; the international competition is open to shorts (fiction and non-fiction) only.
The fifth edition of GFF will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Grand Festival Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. – TradeArabia News Service