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Dubai International Film Festival launches partnership with Syria’s DOX BOX creative documentary festival

altThe Dubai International Film Festival has expanded its regional reach and support for Arab filmmakers through a new partnership with DOX BOX, the annual international film festival for creative documentary based in Syria.

Beginning with the fourth edition of DOX BOX this month, the Festival will offer an annual US$5,000 award and an invitation to the Festival to a documentary work in progress selected by the DOX BOX Campus Tamkeen Grants programme. In addition, the winning project will also be considered for the prestigious Dubai Film Connection co-production market.

The winner of the first Dubai Film Connection Award at DOX BOX is Lebanese director Elias Moubarak’s project My Uncle, The “Terrorist.” The film follows Moubarak’s search for the truth about his uncle Fouad Chemali, regarded a terrorist by some and a martyr by others.

DOX BOX, which runs annually in Damascus, Tartous and Homs in Syria, shortlists documentary projects in development to present to industry professionals and funds as part of its Campus programme.

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of the Dubai International Film Festival, said the DOX BOX partnership is an extension of the Festival’s pro-filmmaker initiatives with the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Cinema in Motion programme and Beirut DC.

“Aligning with like-minded, quality institutions who share our interest, commitment and vision for the growth of Arab cinema is a win-win proposition,” she said. “Through DOX BOX, documentary filmmakers gain access to the diverse networking, industry and development opportunities available through DIFF. The Festival, in turn, benefits from deeper and more extensive relationships with filmmakers around the Arab world.” 

Diana El Jeiroudi, DOX BOX's Head of Industry, said: “The partnership with DIFF is very essential and needed for the Arab filmmakers participating in DOX BOX Campus. Not only does it bring regional and international attention to their projects, it also provides them with development funding to reach international standards.”

“Fifteen filmmakers with projects spanning the Arab world with strong narratives are in need of people who believe in them. We are happy that we have been able to assert such a belief through this powerful partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival and Dubai Film Connection,” she added.

The DIFF team also participated as consultant panelists for the closing session of the DOX BOX Campus 2011. The fourth DOX BOX International Documentary Festival ended March 10, with Muhr Award and Damas People’s Choice Award My Father from Haifa securing second place at the DOX BOX Audience Award. Damascus Roof and Tales of Paradise, which won second prize in the Muhr Arab Documentary competition of DIFF 2010, screened in the DOX BOX Voices of Syria competition.

The eighth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will be held from December 7 to 14, 2011. DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.



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