DIFF Daily 2010

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Day 6

Dealing with censorship

Dec 17, 2010 - 05:24 PM

When it comes to dealing with censors, says independent Egyptian producer Sherif Mandour, ‘we have a trick. When we have a political film, we add 10 percent of rubbish – lots of nudity, bad words – so they can ask us to cut it. They have to cut something. It’s their job.’ Mandour, whose latest film, ‘Cairo Exit’, had its world premiere at DIFF last night, was speaking at the Dubai Film Forum’s industry panel, ‘Freedom to Create’. The panel dealt with the challenges of navigating state censorship systems throughout the Middle East. The levels of stringency vary considerably. ‘What’s ... read more

Dubai Film Market: Inspiring, empowering and connecting

Dec 17, 2010 - 05:23 PM

Comprising a raft of initiatives, designed to assist, inspire and provide concrete support to filmmakers at all stages of production from script to screen, the Dubai Film Market’s multitude of projects have all met with a hugely enthusiastic response, form industry delegates, filmmakers and guest experts. ‘By Wednesday afternoon, we’d already had nearly 100 meetings take place at the Dubai Film Connection,’ says Vida Rizq, Dubai Film Market Consultant. ‘There’s been some great feedback, attendance is huge, filmmakers are saying that there have been great opportunities, they like the organisation and ... read more

Dubai Film Connection Awards announced

Dec 17, 2010 - 05:22 PM

The fourth edition of the Dubai Film Connection closed last night with the announcement of seven awards to Arab films in various stages of production. A total of 15 films – 12 in development and three works in progress – were competing for the prizes and collectively racked up more than 300 one-to-one meetings with prospective backers during the three-day event. Three USD25,000 DIFF Awards were presented. One went to ‘Housekeeping’ (Lebanon/Egypt), director Mazen Khaled and producer Katia Saleh’s portrait of a 50-year-old Beirut cleaning woman; another to ‘One Day and 124 Nights’ (Lebanon), ... read more


Dec 17, 2010 - 05:20 PM

Alongside representatives from Hollywood outfits such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Weinstein Company, US presence at DIFF includes the venerable public service broadcaster, PBS. Its director of international acquisitions, Charles Schuerhoff, is here supporting the PBS co-production ‘In Search of Oil and Sand’, a documentary that was last night awarded the USD15,000 Screen Institute Beirut DIFF Documentary Award at the close of the Dubai Film Connection. The film relates the remarkable story of Cairo’s ‘Zohreya set’ of royals, diplomats and visiting Hollywood stars, and their surprisingly ... read more

Rhythm under the stars

Dec 17, 2010 - 05:18 PM

Young Journalist Award Participant Free screenings and concerts at this year’s DIFF have engaged the UAE community to such an extent this year that Festival organisers decided to make all Rhythm & Reels events free to the public – and expand the initiative even more next year. Each year, Rhythm & Reels celebrates and brings to the forefront a compelling line-up of the best in regional and international cinema, documentaries, and music. This special feature gives people the opportunity to watch movies and performances they wouldn’t usually have the chance to enjoy. Dan Butkovich, Director of Festival ... read more

Variety - Short Interviews

Dec 17, 2010 - 05:17 PM

Carter Pilcher, chief exec of Shorts International, is here in Dubai scouting for short pics. His outfit, which functions as a distrib, broadcaster and producer, has a catalogue of more than 3,000 pics. Here, he talks to Variety about why aspiring filmmakers should never underestimate the power of a short pic. What are your motives here at DIFF this year? We’re looking for short movies from young emerging filmmakers. We have a partnership with the festival as part of our TV series, called ‘Festival Roadtrip,’ where we pick a couple of filmmakers, who are in the competition here in Dubai and follow them ... read more

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