Dubai International Film Festival ups Dubai’s visibility at Cannes


MUMBAI: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) wrapped up its participation at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival with a series of networking events and partnership announcements; bringing together global film players and industry representatives as part of the festival’s commitment to raising the visibility of the regional film industry.

The Festival management hosted productive industry gatherings that confirmed DIFF’s international positioning as a Festival committed to promoting cross cultural dialogue by bringing together film professionals from the international community.

DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma, played host to a networking lunch for festival directors that witnessed representation from some of the most prolific film festivals in the world including Rome, Locarno, Berlin, Cannes, Tokyo, Honk Kong, Stockholm, Durban and Lebanon. He said: “Through the events at Cannes, we were able to connect with present and potential partners to further our goals of nurturing emerging talent from the region and increase the presence of Arab films on a global level.

Juma continued, “We at DIFF intend to keep the momentum of what we have achieved over the past five years alive and hope that our festival can serve to facilitate a constructive global discourse on important world issues, using the medium of film.”

DIFF managing director Shivani Pandya was invited for the second year in a row to speak at the Cannes Producer’s Network breakfast meeting by the Festival management. The session titled “Dubai on Dubai,” explored the possibilities for filmmakers in the UAE as well as DIFF’s focus on nurturing cinema from upcoming markets and its evolution as a platform that seeks to bring both the eastern and western cinematic cultures closer.

In addition, DIFF partnered with the Producers Network to host a reception that aimed to pair international industry players with Arab film makers, re-enforcing the talent and creativity that is coming from this region. The event was attended by nearly 200 industry representatives including registered members to the Cannes Producers Network.

The Producers Network, one of the foremost educational platforms for film festival executives, gathers over 500 producers from around the world to network through a range of comprehensive programs and match making initiatives.

Other significant announcements during DIFF’s Cannes tour included the key partnership with the World Cinema Foundation, an international body founded by veteran director Martin Scorsese and the In Focus France segment at DIFF 2009, to celebrate the country widely credited as the birthplace of Cinema and in recognition of the support Arab filmmakers have received from the French Film and TV industry.

DIFF’s sixth edition will run from 9 to 16 December, 2009.That is something for the court to deliberate on. T-Series has been fairly active in protecting its copyright – the company has so far taken on several Internet companies like Yahoo, MySpace, and most famously, YouTube.