Dubai, 14 October 2014 – The Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, ‘Official Sponsor’ and ‘Festival-Time’ Partner of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) announced today that Golden Globe winner and IWC Friend of the Brand Emily Blunt will be joining the jury for the third annual IWC Filmmaker Award. The award will be presented to the winning filmmaker at a star-studded gala on 11 December 2014 during the 11th edition of DIFF.
The IWC Filmmaker Award, launched in 2012 as a collaboration between IWC Schaffhausen and DIFF, offers a cash prize of USD 100,000 to help a talented filmmaker from the Middle East transfer his or her vision from script to screen. “We are proud to partner with the Dubai International Film Festival to bring the IWC Filmmaker Award to the Gulf filmmaking industry for a third year,” said Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “Our journey throughout the past two editions of the award has been incredible, and we have been privileged to witness Arab storytelling at its best. Through the Award, we provide a platform for both up-and-coming and established filmmakers in the Gulf, offering the funding that helps them to realize their visions.”
This year’s winning project will be selected from three shortlisted scripts, which will be assessed by a jury of international film industry experts including Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt. “I’m truly excited about visiting Dubai, and it’s a great honour for me to be a part of the IWC Filmmaker Award jury and support a valuable initiative that promotes the art of film in the Gulf. It will be fascinating to see the scripts and discover forthcoming films that will undoubtedly touch the hearts and minds of audiences in the region and internationally,” commented the British actress.
Emily Blunt, who burst into the limelight in 2006 with her brilliant performance in “The Devil Wears Prada”, has played leading roles in “The Young Victoria”, the 2009 period drama about the early life and reign of the iconic British queen, the 2011 thriller “The Adjustment Bureau” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”, a romantic British comedy-drama. Emily Blunt most recently starred alongside Tom Cruise in the 2014 science-fiction blockbuster “Edge of Tomorrow”, while her upcoming musical fantasy “Into the Woods” is scheduled for release in December.
DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma is also looking forward to this year’s award: “The experience and discernment of our jury are vital in helping the Dubai International Film Festival encourage exceptional filmmaking, and we are honoured to have such distinguished jury members come to Dubai to select the IWC Filmmaker Award winner. The growth in the number and quality of submissions is evident year on year, both from established filmmakers and exciting emerging talent.”
During the 10th edition of DIFF, the second IWC Filmmaker Award was presented to Emirati director Waleed Al Shehhi for his work “Dolphins”, written by UAE author and poet Ahmed Salmeen. The ninth edition of DIFF saw Iraqi-Emirati director Maysoon Pachachi become the first filmmaker to receive the IWC Filmmaker Award for “Nothing Doing in Baghdad”.
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch seg¬ment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive de¬sign. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports in¬stitutions around the globe in their work with children and young people, and maintains partnerships with organizations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the Middle East and Africa. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 11th edition of DIFF will take place from 10 to 17 December 2014. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.diff.ae