The Dubai International Film Festival (hereafter referred to as “DIFF”) is a nonprofit cultural event that takes place annually in December in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. DIFF is an event fully owned and organized by the Dubai Entertainment and Media Organisation (“DEMO”) and aims at establishing itself as a major international festival, while continuing to act as a platform for showcasing excellence in Arab, Emirati,  Asia and Africa cinema and simultaneously contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry and talent.

The 2014 edition of DIFF will present the following sections:

1.  Out of Competition Programme.

Arabian Nights, Cinema for Children, Cinema of AsiaAfrica, Cinema of the World, Gulf Voices, Celebration of Indian Cinema.

2.  Muhr Awards Programme.

Muhr Arab Feature, Muhr Arab Documentary, Muhr Arab Short, Muhr Emirati, Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature, Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary and Muhr AsiaAfrica Short.



Unless a special waiver is granted by DIFF 

a)  Films must have been produced after September 1, 2013

b)  Films must not have been screened in the Gulf region for any audiences before DIFF. With exceptions for i) films that have participated in the Sixth edition of the Gulf Film Festival (“GFF”).  For GCC films including Iraq and Yemen as defined in the attached Appendix 3, a minimum of a UAE Premiere is required.  Films must not have been broadcasted and/or made available on television, the internet, mobile phones and/or any other public viewing platform now known or thereafter devised before and until the end of DIFF.

c)  Films that have been submitted to earlier editions of DIFF will not be considered Unless substantive changes can be shown since initial submission.



The 2014 edition of DIFF will present the Muhr Awards in three different categories (A) feature films, (B) short films and (C) documentary films.


a) Films must be directed by a filmmaker of Arab Nationality or Origin as defined in the attached Appendix 1. Films for the Muhr Emirati Awards must be directed by a UAE National filmmaker.

b) The subject and storyline of the films should be centered on the Arab world, Arab history and/or Arab culture, as for the Muhr Emirati films there are no conditions for the subject and storyline. .


a) Films must be directed by a filmmaker of Asian or African Nationality or Origin as defined in the attached Appendix 2. 

b) The subject and storyline of the films should be centered on the Asian or African world, history and/or culture.



a) Feature Films: Films must be a work of fiction that equals or exceeds 60 minutes in length. For this category DIFF will select a minimum of 10  films for each Muhr Feature Awards.

b) Documentary Films: Films must be a work of nonfiction. For this category DIFF will select a minimum of 10 films for each Muhr Documentary Awards.

c) Short Films: Films must be a work of fiction that does not exceed 59 minutes in length. For this category DIFF will select a minimum of 10 films for each Muhr Short Awards.

Note: DIFF will not accept any Short Films in its Out of Competition Programme with the exception of Arabian Nights and Gulf Voices section.

d) Muhr Emirati Awards: Films must be a work of feature, documentary or short. For this category DIFF will select a minimum of 10 films. 

Eligibility for FIPRESCI Awards: All films selected for the Muhr Arab Awards, will also be considered for the FIPRESCI Awards in each category.

Eligibility for People’s Choice Award: All films selected in DIFF Programme, will be eligible for the People’s Choice Award.



Selection Committee: DIFF will solely appoint selection committees to review all submissions. The committees will decide on the official Muhr Awards selection as well as the Out of Competition Programme.

Muhr Awards Jury: DIFF will solely appoint three separate juries from the international community to decide on prize winners for each of the categories in the Muhr Awards. The jury for the feature sections will be composed of five members and the jury for the documentary; -MuhrShorts and Muhr Emirati sections will comprise of three members.

FIPRESCI Jury: FIPRESCI will solely appoint two separate juries from the International Press community to decide on prize winners for each assigned categories of the FIPRESCI Awards.



Best Film - US$ 50,000; Special Jury Prize - US$ 40,000 where the cash prize will be awarded to the Producer(s) of each film; Best Director – US$ 15,000; Best Actor - US$ 8,000; Best Actress – US$ 8,000.


Best Film - US$ 40,000; Special Jury Prize - US$ 30,000; where the cash prize will be awarded to the Producer(s) of each film; Best Director - US$ 15,000.


Best Film - US$ 30,000; Special Jury Prize - US$ 20,000 where the cash prize will be awarded to the Producer(s) of each film; Best Director - US$ 10,000.


Best Film – AED 50,000; Special Jury Prize – AED 35,000 where the cash prize will be awarded to the Producer(s) of the film; Best Director – AED 25,000 AED.


Deadlines: Entries must be submitted online before August 31, 2014 by completing the online Submission Form in both Arabic and English (when/if applicable) prior to sending a DVD or screening private link of the film. Submissions and/or material must reach DIFF before the same date of August 31, 2014. Any submission and/or material received after the above deadline will not be accepted.

Submitted Material: The submitted material consists of a DVD of the film or screening private link and any other additional material submitted by the submitter. If the original version of the film is not in English, the submitted DVD or link must be subtitled in English. 

The submitter must label the cover of the DVD, with the Online Submission ID# and Work-in-progress mention if applicable.

The submitter must ensure that the film title and all other requested information are provided in English.

Submission Shipping: All shipping costs of the submitted material must be borne by the submitter/sender (Please note that it is recommended to use a courier for shipping submissions as regular post does not guarantee any expected arrival date and provide us with the AWB). For the avoidance of doubt, the Submitted Material will not be returned to the submitter/sender. All submissions should be sent directly to the hereunder address with “For cultural use only” and “Without commercial value” clearly marked on the envelope.

Dubai International Film Festival
Dubai Media City, CNN Building
1st floor - Management Office
(P.O. Box 502600)
Dubai, 502600 -  United Arab Emirates
Attention: Submissions Manager
RE: [film name], [online submission ID #]
Tel: +971 4 433 5259             Fax: +971 4 367 2892

Submission of Works in Progress: It is possible to submit a working copy of a film. When filling out the DIFF Submission Form as well as when labeling the DVDs copy, the submitter must make sure that it clearly identifies the submission as a ‘work-in-progress’. However, the final title of the film should be listed and not the working title. For the avoidance of doubt, all other terms related to submissions shall be herein applicable (i.e. submission of the work-in-progress DVD or screening link shall take place on or before August 31, 2013). 

Storage of Submissions: DIFF retains the right to keep all submissions as well as associated materials for its internal use.  DIFF reserves the right to transfer submissions to a master hard drive digital library, building a digital reference archive (“DIFF Permanent Digital Library”). DIFF will not theatrically or publicly screen for commercial purposes any films without the express written consent of the appropriate rights holder(s).



The Selection Committee will at its own discretion select the Muhr Awards and Out of Competition films.

If a film is selected for the Muhr Awards or for the Out of Competition programme, DIFF will send an official selection letter during the first half of November 2014 and will advise of further requirements and next steps.

It is imperative to understand that DIFF hereby reserves the first right to announce the list of films included in its Final Lineup. The submitter shall in no case, prior to the announcement by DIFF of its Final Lineup, publicly confirm that the submitter’s film is part of DIFF. 

The final DIFF programme selection will be announced by the end of November 2014.

If a film has not been selected, DIFF will inform by letter within one week of the announcement of the final DIFF Programme selection. For the avoidance of doubt, DIFF will not in any way whatsoever provide any justification and/ or comments regarding the reasons for non-selection of a film.

Final Screening Material:

  • The final screening copy of the film can only be submitted in one of the following formats: (a) 35mm print; (b) DCP; (c) Digital File “Protected Link or Hard Drive”.
  • If the original language(s) of the film is not in English, the final screening copy must be subtitled in English.
  • It is DIFF’s general policy to screen all non-English and non-Arabic language films in their original language version with English subtitles. Exceptions to this general rule will be made on a case by case basis in order to meet operational requirements.
  • Selected films should be submitted with but not limited to a high resolution copy of the trailer of the film used for promotional purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, DIFF shall be entitled without prior notice to use the trailer online and on broadcast TV for periods of time to be solely decided by DIFF

Deadlines: DIFF must receive the screening copy of the film on or before November 10, 2014. The screening copy of the film must be received in good condition and DIFF reserves the right to refuse screening copies if found to be not in good condition and request the submitter to re-submit a new copy. In the event that the submitter fails to submit a screening copy suitable for screening and in good condition, DIFF reserves the right to cancel the selection of the film without any liability whatsoever.  

Additional Terms: For the avoidance of doubt, once a film is selected, the submitter will not be able to withdraw nor change the Premiere status of the film at any given time before it is screened at DIFF unless accepted by DIFF in writing. 

In the event that the submitter is found to be in violation of any condition of the Rules and Regulations, DIFF at its sole discretion may choose to cancel and eliminate such film from the selection or the Final Lineup and DIFF Programme. 

Print Shipping: Shipping costs to and from DIFF’s premises will be incurred by DIFF. DIFF undertakes to return the screening copy at the end of DIFF. 

Print Insurance: Prints of all films selected for the DIFF Programme will be insured throughout the period in which they are in the festival’s custody and until it is shipped back to the submitter. In the case of loss or damage during DIFF, DIFF will be responsible only for the replacement value of the print, if the said print was originally received by the festival in good condition.

Screenings & Scheduling: Selected Films will be screened up to three times to DIFF’s public audiences. At the discretion of DIFF, the film may be screened prior to the festival an additional (fourth) time for accredited press and industry members. DIFF will at its sole discretion decide on the dates and order of the screening(s) of each film.

Screener(s): DIFF will make a digitized copy of the final subtitled DVD screener of the film for media screening purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, said digitized copy will only be viewed by media accredited delegates during the period of the festival and on a closed internal circuit. The digitization process is secure and no copy or duplication of the Film can be made by third parties.



Submission and participation in DIFF Programme implies acceptance of the Rules and Regulations.

The submitter hereby represents and warrants that he/she holds all rights in and to the film and its related materials and that he/she has the authority and capacity to submit the film and its related material for the DIFF Programme.

Except as stated in the Rules and Regulations, the submitter acknowledges that DIFF shall not be held liable or responsible in any manner whatsoever for any loss or damage of whatever type or nature incurred as a result of the submission, acceptance and/or screening of the film and/or its related material. Furthermore, the submitter undertakes to indemnify and keep DIFF indemnified against all liabilities, claims, demands, actions, costs, damages or loss arising out of the submission, acceptance and/or screening of the film and/or its related material.

The submitter also understands and acknowledges that the DIFF Submission Form and the present Rules and Regulations form a consolidated and unified document and that therefore the DIFF Submission Form shall be considered as incorporated herein by reference.



Censorship: No editorial cuts or changes to any film will be made at any time by DIFF for any reason or under any circumstances.

Anti-Piracy Precautions: DIFF undertakes to take all possible anti-piracy precautions. All prints and associated copyrighted materials will be securely stored while on DIFF premises. Access is limited to DIFF’s nominated staff only and all movement of prints will be strictly monitored. No duplication or loaning is permitted and no prints will ever leave the custody and care of DIFF or its authorized agents during DIFF.

Festival Management’s Discretion: DIFF will decide in its discretion on all issues and matters not foreseen by these Rules and Regulations. DIFF further retains the right to permit exceptions to the application of these Rules Regulations at any time in its discretion.

Promotional Material: All DIFF selected films including Muhr Awards winners undertake to include, in a clear and visible manner, on the Home Video release of their film (i.e. DVD. Blu Ray, online availability…) and on any and all promotional material (including but not limited to posters, banners, EPK’s, websites…) a specific logo to be provided by DIFF.


Arab Nationality or Origin shall mean people from one or more of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.


AsiaAfrica Nationality or Origin shall mean people from one or more of the following countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia,  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic Congo (Kinshasa), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Reunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.


List of Gulf countries: United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Iraq and Yemen.

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