Dubai, 30 November 2014 – Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, Official Sponsor and ‘Festival-Time’ Partner of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), will host a prestigious event to announce the winner of the 2014 IWC Filmmaker Award on 11 December. With the award now in its third year and garnering a reputation as a staple highlight of DIFF, the much-anticipated announcement will be made at a star-studded gala at the One&Only Royal Mirage during the 11th edition of DIFF, with IWC brand ambassadors Emily Blunt and Aloe Blacc in attendance.
Golden Globe winner and IWC brand ambassador Emily Blunt will be joining her fellow jury members, Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, and Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of DIFF, to select the winning artist from an impressive array of talented filmmakers from the GCC states. The award ceremony will be followed by a private concert by IWC brand ambassador Aloe Blacc to celebrate the evening.
Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, commented: “The IWC Filmmaker Award allows us to bring to life unique stories from the Arab world, giving an insightful glimpse into these intricate and diverse societies. The region is brimming with talented filmmakers, and we are honoured to be able to support their dreams and aspirations, propelling Arab cinema onto the international stage.”
Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman, said: “Both new cinematic voices and established directors from the Arab world bring to light fresh perspectives and ideas, continuously pushing the envelope. We are delighted to see the IWC Filmmaker Award return to DIFF for a third year, bringing artistic productions from the region to a wider audience.”
The three shortlisted projects in line for the USD 100,000 prize are Saeed Salmeen Al-Murry’s “Going to Heaven”, Ahd Kamel’s “Sandfish” and Abdullah Boushahri’s “The Water”.
Emirati filmmaker Saeed Salmeen Al-Murry has directed a number of acclaimed films, including “Bint Mariam” (2008), which won both regional and international awards, including Best Emirati Filmmaker at DIFF in 2008.
Saudi Arabian filmmaker and actress Ahd Kamel is best known for her starring role in the award-winning Saudi Arabian feature film “Wadjda”. Her second directorial short, “La Sainteté” (2013), in which she also starred, received a Golden Bear nomination at the Berlinale and won the Golden Aleph at the Beirut International Film Festival.
Kuwaiti director and producer Abdullah Boushahri produced the feature length film “Losing Ahmad”, which made its world premiere at DIFF in 2006, going on to win the Best Documentary in the Gulf at the Emirates Film Competition 2007 and touring more than 30 international film festivals around the world.
Last year, UAE director Waleed Al-Shehhi received the IWC Filmmaker Award from IWC brand ambassador and head juror Cate Blanchett for his project “Dolphins”, which will have its world premiere at a Red Carpet Gala screening at the Festival this December.
Short-listed nominees for the IWC Filmmaker Award back in 2012 - Mohammed Rashed Buali’s ‘The Sleeping Tree’ supported by DIFF's post-production support programme Enjaaz and Emirates NBD will enjoy its world premiere at DIFF. In addition Ali. F Mostafa’s ‘From A to B’ which opened Abu Dhabi Film Festival will also screen at the Festival. The winner of the 2012 IWC Filmmaker Award Maysoon Pachachi, director of “Nothing Doing in Baghdad” project is currently in production.
Following the award ceremony, the chart-topping soul sensation singer and songwriter Aloe Blacc will entertain the audience with an exclusive set including the hit tracks “I Need a Dollar” and the UK number one single “The Man”.