A press release issued on November 23 by the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) announced that the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the OIF have launched a new award to support filmmakers in Arab countries, their first collaboration to assist upcoming and established talent in the Arab world.
As part of the 8th Dubai International Film Festival, which runs from December 7 to 14, 2011, the OIF will award a prize of 5,000 euros to a feature film project from a French-speaking Arab country, selected from among 15 film projects competing in the coproduction market of the Dubai International Film Festival (Dubai Film Connection).
At the launch of the new award, Ms. Shivani Pandya, managing director of the Dubai International Film Festival, declared: “This partnership for the promotion of film production in the French-speaking countries of the Arab world is in line with our goal of offering filmmakers as many resources and growth opportunities as possible.”
Mr. Frédéric Bouilleux, OIF director for French language and cultural and linguistic diversity, pointed out that OIF’s “partnership with the Dubai Film Connection […] has become a veritable mark of quality over time [and] should increase the visibility of supported films, accelerate their feasibility, and thus help enrich cultural dialogue through creative and committed quality Arab cinema.”
With regard to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, this award constitutes a good practice in development cooperation because it helps consolidate cultural industries in developing countries by building and strengthening their film industry production and distribution capacity.