Diff joins forces with top Arab arts group
Beirut, November 5, 2012
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has joined hands with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) for the festival’s upcoming ninth edition taking place from December 9 to 16.
The partnership comes at the outcome of an extensive dialogue between the two parties on the basis of their shared objectives in supporting Arab cinema, embracing new talents and promoting the film industry from the Arab world, said a senior Diff official.
Fostering opportunities for Arab filmmakers both at home and abroad, in conjunction with embedding an appetite for artistic expression, is a core mandate for DIFF," remarked Masoud Amralla Al Ali, the Diff’s artistic director.
"In the same vein, AFAC is establishing itself as an incubator of Arab arts and culture, whilst supporting creative exchange across global borders and we are thrilled to announce our collaboration with the fund. We look forward to embarking on an exciting journey of cinematic discovery together," he added.
Since its inception in 2007, AFAC has contributed to the financing of more than 100 Arab film projects, while Diff has established itself as a major institution dedicated to Arab cinema, adding to its screening platform several worthy funding initiatives, notably Injaaz.
Commenting on the deal, AFAC’s executive director Oussama Rifahi said, "We are very proud to launch this partnership, which was the natural result of our joint vision. Through our work in the past years, we have committed to empowering Arab cinema, nurturing its talents and bringing its rich narratives to the world."
As per the deal, the upcoming edition will host four emerging documentary films from AFAC’s Crossroads program and provide their directors and producers with special advisory support and networking.
The participating projects are: The Little Eagles by Mohammad Rashad (Egypt); Algeria: State of Mind, State of Affairs by Bahia Bencheick El Fegoun (Algeria); Monumentum by Fadi Yeniturk (Lebanon); and Out/In the Streets by Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk (Egypt).
"By joining forces with DIFF, we are connecting filmmakers from throughout the region with Arab and international cinema professionals in what has proven to be the primary screening platform in the region. We hope that this is the beginning of a longer-term cooperation to consolidate efforts in the region for the benefit of Arab filmmakers,” he added.
Additionally, Diff will host an AFAC sidebar in its Cinétech section, making a number of AFAC-supported projects available to an international network of distributors and sales agents.
These include: When I Saw You by AnneMarie Jacir; 74 by Rania and Raed Rafei; Fidai by Damien Ounouri; and It was Better Tomorrow by Hind Boujemaa among others.
AFAC will also announce the names of its 2012 Cinema Grantees on December 13 at the festival, prior to Diff’s own announcement of its DFC awards.-TradeArabia News Service