Made in the UAE

At the Dubai International Film Festival last year, Dubai made its first attempt at encouraging the production of Emirati films. This year, it's doing more with the launch of the Muhr Awards of Excellence.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  September 19, 2006

I|~||~||~|A year ago, local filmmakers were lamenting the lack of support from the government to produce their films. Perhaps the only support they got came from the Emirates Film Competition, and that wasn’t much. However, this year, local filmmakers have a lot to look forward to. The Dubai International Film Festival, for instance, has announced for the first time the Muhr Awards of Excellence. DIFF has announced a total of US$ 325,000 in prize money for winning entries in the festival’s new Arab Film Competition. The competition will reward the best locally produced feature film as well as best script and the most promising filmmaker of the year. The BMW Group has also likewise launched a Mini film competition in the Middle East this year as part of its efforts to nurture filmmaking in the region. The competition runs from September 1 to November 1 and is open to anyone who resides in Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen. A professional jury of international and regional acclaim will choose the top 10 films. Look for more details on www.mini-me.com. If you have a story to tell, this is your chance. On another note, Dubai Studio City has offered to help with the screening of five short Emirati films -- Al Fustan, Amen, Celebration of Life, Mirrors of Silence, and Small Sky -- on Thursday 21 September 2006 at Dubai Knowledge Village. Admission is free, so please show your support by going to the event. The films are subtitled in English. ||**||

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