9th DIFF celebrates its most successful year, with the highest attendance record to date
Public admissions increase by 35%
52,000 tickets issued over 8 days
Presents over US$600,000 in prize money to Muhr Award winners
Featured 158 films including 49 world premieres and 15 international premieres
Over 75 Arab films, shorts and documentaries showcased
Received a record number of submissions, 2,100 from 115 countries
Attended by 1,700 industry delegates and 1,300 accredited media
Student attendance increases by 50%
Dubai Film Connection, the co-production market, presents US$110,000 in funds
Enjaaz, the post-production initiative, selects 13 more projects to support them with up to US $100,000 in funds
Dubai Filmmart, the trade and distribution platform hosts 330 films
Over 100% increase in unique visits to DIFF’s new website and 950% increase on a mobile device
Following the success of the 9th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), which boasted an impressive 35% increase in public admissions resulting in the highest ever audience turn-out of over 52,000 film goers enjoying the 158 strong film programme DIFF announced the 10th anniversary will run from December 6th through to the 14th, 2013.
The 9th Edition, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, hosted over 1700 Industry delegates and over 1300 Media from 90 countries all flocking to Dubai for one of the most diverse and impressive programmes to date.
Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman, said: “DIFF’s ninth edition delivered a true spectacle of cinematic multiplicity and a showcase of unbridled talent, achieving our goal of increasing awareness of Arab cinema both at home and abroad, while simultaneously developing regional talent to ensure its sustained future. It is thrilling to see our industry initiatives and awards assisting the creation of the filmmakers of the future and the thriving Arab film industry making a true impact on the international festival circuit.“
High-profile international filmmakers and actors graced the red carpet over the 8 days. Setting a high bar for the year ahead, DIFF 2012 opened in unforgettable style with the Middle East premiere of Life of Pi, attended by the film’s cast. Celebrity guests throughout the Festival included Academy Award winners Cate Blanchett, Kevin Spacey and Colin Firth, Livia Firth, Frieda Pinto, Rooney Mara, Kirsten Davis and Amr Waked.
Since its inaugural edition in 2004, DIFF has emerged as the leading Film Festival in the region, providing an important platform to promote Arab film and talent to the world. In 2012, the Festival awarded more than USD 600,000 to filmmakers from the UAE, the Arab world, Asia and Africa through its coveted Muhr Awards. In addition, USD 110,000 was distributed in co-production support through the Dubai Film Connection.
Dubai Filmmart, the Festival’s trade and distribution platform, hosted 330 films for potential buyers from across the world.
Enjaaz, the Festival’s post-production support programme, announced 13 additional films from the Arab world to receive up to US$100,000 each towards helping filmmakers complete their projects.
Since 2009, Enjaaz has supported nearly 50 Arab and Arab-origin films and presented a selection of Enjaaz funded films in DIFF’s 2012 line-up across a range of genres including 8 from this year’s cycles and 9 from 2010 and 2011 cycles.
The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award was also launched by luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, IWC Schaffhausen and DIFF. The Award offered the financial means to help selected filmmakers transfer their vision to the screen, with a cash prize of USD 100,000. Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett headed the jury to select the winning project, Maysoon Pachachi’s Nothing Doing in Baghdad.
In a Festival first, DIFF 2012 fans had the unique opportunity to connect with actors and directors via Google+ Hangouts in real time. Those who couldn’t attend the Festival enjoyed live coverage of the Festival’s opening red carpet via the Festival’s live stream on YouTube. In addition, coverage of the Festival’s filmmaker panels, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage was made available to the public on the official DIFF YouTube channel.
Another successful event at DIFF 2012 was the One Night to Change Lives’ charity auction hosted by DIFF in aid of Dubai Cares and Oxfam. Colin Firth and Livia Firth, Kristin Davis, Rooney Mara and Freida Pinto, attended the event to help raise a total of more than US$ 500,000 during the auction, reaffirming the overwhelming success of this charity event for the second successive year.
As DIFF prepares for the decennial edition, Abdulhamid Juma added: “We look forward to rolling out the carpet for our 10th year to celebrate the richness of Arab cinema and further introduce audiences to fresh new talent and original, intelligent and distinctive filmmaking. Our 2013 edition will showcase the best of cinema from around the world, offering an opportunity to reflect on the monumental accomplishments and global impact which the Festival has achieved in the past decade”.