5th Gulf Film Festival to be held in April

  • Submissions to Gulf professional and student competitions, international shorts competition, out of competition segments is now open
  • Half a million dirhams in prize money, learning opportunities on offer

The fifth edition of the Gulf Film Festival, the home of bold, experimental and contemporary cinema from the Arabian peninsula, will be held in Dubai from April 10 to 16, 2012.

The fifth edition of the Festival will continue its key competitions: The Gulf Competition for professional and student filmmakers and the International Competition for Short Films. The Festival is also home to multiple out-of-competition segments including an ‘In Focus’ segment, master classes, nightly industry discussions and other special events.

The Gulf Competition is open to filmmakers from the Arabian peninsula including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Yemen and Iraq, as well as filmmakers of other nationalities with films showcasing the region. The Gulf Student Competition is open to works from the region made or produced by students during their academic study, or as part of a college project.

Entries in the Gulf Competition are invited in feature films (fiction and non-fiction) and shorts. Students compete in short films only; the international competition is open to shorts (fiction and non-fiction) only. Winners will receive more than half a million dirhams in prize money.

Submissions to the Festival is now open and will continue until February 29, 2012. The Gulf Film Festival is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

The Festival, an unmatched meeting ground, incubator and showcase of Gulf talent, is growing from strength to strength. Its fourth edition this April recorded double-digit audience growth, with more than 30 screenings going on standby across all categories of the festival; average cinema occupancy rose 11 per cent to 60 per cent; and over half the Festival’s screenings drew 60 per cent or more capacity houses – including 21 screenings over 75 per cent.

The fourth edition also brought global cinema legends including Gerard Courant and Abbas Kiarostami to the region.

Experimental French filmmaker Courant, the subject of the GFF2011 ‘In Focus’ segment, added 70 new Dubai-based portraits of cinematic individuals to his Cinematon, the world’s longest film. Courant also created two Cine Carnet logs and a film around the Festival itself.
World-renowned director Kiarostami’s first filmmaking master class in the Gulf at GFF also yielded outstanding results, with over 40 short films created in 10 days from around the region and the world.

The fourth edition of GFF screened 153 films from 31 countries, including 59 world premieres, 13 international premieres, 15 Middle East premieres and 15 GCC premieres. There were over 114 films from the Arabian peninsula, including 45 from the UAE and a strong representation from the GCC region and Iraq. GFF 2011 hosted 425 film industry guests, including 166 filmmakers, and witnessed strong media participation with more than 250 journalists from the Gulf region and around the world.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Festival Director, Gulf Film Festival, said: “The fifth edition of the Gulf Film Festival will once again highlight the emerging film talent in the Arabian peninsula, offering filmmakers a strong platform to showcase their works. The festival, over the years, has established a distinct identity as the definitive voice of the Gulf film industry, serving often as the first point to watch films by Gulf-based student and professional filmmakers. Its diverse initiatives have strengthened the interaction between audience members, media, industry guests and international and regional filmmakers.”

All films submitted must be produced after January 1, 2011. Feature films must be a work of fiction and non-fiction that equals or exceeds 60 minutes in length. Short films must be a work of fiction and non-fiction that does not exceed 59 minutes in length.

Entries into all the GFF competitions this year must be done by completing the application online at www.gulffilmfest.com, by February 29, 2012.

GFF 2012 will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Grand Festival Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. The festival is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is held in association with Dubai Studio City. More details on the festival are available online at www.gulffilmfest.com.