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The GFF will be dedicated to the best in cinema from the Gulf countries (the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Republic of Iraq and Republic of Yemen) along with select international films. The first annual edition of the festival will run from April 9 to 15, 2008.
GFF aims to develop the local and regional film culture in the Gulf, creating greater opportunities for filmmakers from the Gulf to screen their films and develop future film projects. In celebrating the cinematic excellence of the region, GFF aims to become a destination festival that will showcase what Gulf cinema can offer to the international film community.
Abdulhamid Juma, Deputy Director General, TECOM Authority and Chairman of DIFF, said: “We are proud to support an initiative that furthers our mandate of promoting Arab cinema.
I am also pleased to announce that the Festival Director of GFF will be Massoud Amralla al Ali, a long-standing supporter of Gulf national filmmakers and a tireless promoter of Arabic cinema. The Gulf Film Festival will give him a larger platform from which to continue his work and contribute to making the Emirates a filmmaking hub in the region."
Beside the Official Competition, GFF will be comprised of several other programming segments: Out of Competition will show Gulf feature and short films than were not selected for the Official Competition; In Their Eyes will screen films made by non-Gulf national directors who reside in the Gulf region; the Best of Arab Short Films will feature films screened, or submitted, to the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema segment at the Dubai International Film Festival; Intersections will show short films from around the world; and In the Spotlight will showcase short films celebrating a particular director’s experience, a cinematic movement, or a certain country.
GFF will present first and second prizes in the categories of feature, shorts and documentary in the Official Competition, and short and documentary in the Students’ Competition. There will be a Special Jury Prize in both categories, and a separate Script Competition for Emirati Short Films.
The cash prizes for the Official Competition Feature category are Dhs50,000 and Dhs35,000 for first and second prize. First, second and third prizes in the Documentary and Shorts sections stand to win Dhs25,000, Dhs20,000 and Dhs15,000, and the Special Jury Prize is a purse of Dhs20,000.
The Students’ Competition Awards comprises Documentary and Shorts categories only; the top three awards for Documentary and Short films carry cash prizes of Dhs 20,000, Dhs15,000, and Dhs10,000. Special Jury Prize in the Students’ Competition is Dhs15,000.
The Script Competition for Emirati Short Films will award Dhs50, 000 for first prize and Dhs40, 000 and 30, 000 for second and third prizes. All prize monies must be allotted to the production of a film in the UAE, to be screened at GFF 2009.
In order to participate and compete, all films must be directed by a Gulf national (with the exception of the In Their Eyes segment), with a subject and storyline centered around the Gulf region and/or Gulf history or culture. The film should not have been screened, televised or streamed online in the UAE before, except the Dubai International Film Festival and Ibda’a Awards, and must have been produced after January 1, 2006. The submitted work must not be a television programme or an episode of a series.Films and scripts will be selected by a jury of international film experts; shortlisted candidates will be notified by March 15th.
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