Five Arab filmmakers, including Mohamed Ismail Laouti, have been awarded prizes and funding by the Dubai Film Connection (DFC), highlighting their achievements thus far and providing financial support for films in production.
The five filmmakers from across the region presented their work to international film industry experts during the DFC, which is the co-production market of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
As well as receiving prestigious awards, they were given a slice of the $60,000 pot of prize money, along with key partnership opportunties in the industry.
Director Mohamed Ismail Laouti won the DIFF award (and $25,000) for his film The Syrians. He also got an invitation to the Tribeca Film Institute, which takes place at the famed festival. The Syrians also received a nomination for the next round of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Three directors were awarded $10,000 each in prize money: Amjad Abu Alaa, who won the ART Award for You Will Die at Twenty; Anwar Boulifa, who took the Hideaway Entertainment Award for The Unwanted; and Bassel Ghandour, who was awarded the Cinescape/Front Row Award for The Alleys.
Wissam Charaf, meanwhile, won the Centre National du Cinema Award (and Euros 5,000) for Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous.
According to the DFC, the winners were selected based on the “quality of the ideas, ability to reflect the diversity of filmmaking voices across the Arab world, project feasibility, ability of the production team to deliver the proposed project and the project’s potential for both international and Arab partners.”
Meanwhile, five Arab producers were awarded complementary accreditations by the Cannes Producers Network: Haider Rashid for Europa; Willy Rolle for The Syrians; Jessica Landt for I Dreamt of an Empire; Nayla Al Khaja for Animal; and Anissa Daoud for God Bless Buddies.
The DFC acts as a platform for regional filmmakers and an opportunity for acquiring additional funding and partnership opportunities. It has supported 148 films, 60 of which were completed.