khaleej Times - 24/9/2006
Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced the details of the DIFF Short-Film Script Competition, instituted this year to nurture the filmmaking talent of UAE nationals.
Abdulhamid Juma, Deputy Director General, Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority said: "The Short-Film Script Competition aims to acknowledge and encourage emerging UAE scriptwriters and filmmakers, paving the way for an upcoming generation of national filmmaking talent."
Giving details of the competition, Juma said that the script must be written in Arabic by a scriptwriter or filmmaker of UAE nationality. The competition will a spotlight not only on nationals, but also on the richness and diversity of the local landscape, as each script is required to be set in the backdrop of UAE.
Applicants may submit up to two scripts, not more than 30 pages in length. It is important to note that the material must not have been previously optioned, purchased or produced. Entries must be the original, copyrighted work of a sole author or a collaborative effort between two writers. The deadline for sending the applications for the competition is November 15, 2006.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director, Arab Programming and Head of DIFF Arab Film Competition, said: "The UAE boasts of over 600 nationals associated with the filmmaking industry. The competition will further their understanding of the medium, and provide momentum to a home-grown film industry."
A three-member jury from the Arab film community will select three best scripts to be awarded cash prizes of Dh50,000 , Dh40,000 and Dh30,000 respectively.
Masoud added that the prize money must be allocated for the production of the film in the UAE, and winning scripts must be produced and submitted to DIFF 2007 before October 1, 2007. Award-winning UAE national scriptwriter, Ibrahim Al Mulla said: "DIFF's decision to recognise nationals will motivate scriptwriters to reach for higher creative standards and develop more innovative scripts and films.
Al Mulla is the scriptwriter of prize winning documentary films Memory of a Wall (Emirates Film Competition 2002) and An Eye Gazes at a Dream (Gold Prize at Cairo Film Festival 2000 for Radio & TV).
DIFF also hosted a networking lunch for national filmmakers and film students to develop increased synergy among the UAE film making community.
Later this year, it plans to hold workshops and interactive forums to further its objective of motivating the national filmmaking fraternity.
Competition criteria details and entry forms for the film festivals Short-Script Film Competition are available on www.dubaifilmfest.com, the official web site of the Dubai International Film Festival.