Dubai International Film Festival

Started 14 years back, the Dubai International Film Festival is the biggest movie festival in the Middle East. Over this long period, the event screened a total of 2000 odd films out of which 500 were Arab. The film festival is highly appreciated across the globe as it has helped 300 local films gain international recognition and also funding and distribution along with showing 200 regional filmmakers the limelight.  The film festival is known for only being a means to praise and acknowledge the talent of filmmakers and for making them gain international recognition rather than a profit-making event. 

Insights to the Festival

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Organised by the Dubai Entertainment & Media Organization, it was first held in 2004 to attract a crowd to visit what has now become the world’s wealthiest country. The festival is held with the help of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. 

The first edition of the Dubai International Film Festival saw a rough 13000 people attend from UAE and surrounding regions. The first edition gave out lifetime awards to Subhash Ghai, Omar Sharif and Daoud Abdul Sayed. Over the past few years, the film festival has gained immense popularity and attracted a crowd like never seen before. The second edition of the event saw a footfall of more than double from the first edition. The 2005 Dubai International Film Festival gave out lifetime awards to Yash Chopra, Morgan Freeman, Mustafa Akkad and Adel Imam. 

Over the next few years, the festival grew drastically focussing on gaining recognition for regional talent and 2007 saw 240 films being pushed to achieve international awards. 

What To Expect?

Today the film festival regularly sees top celebrities from across the globe like Tom Cruise and George Clooney. The last edition of the film festival, 2018, was cancelled as the organisers needed time for development, innovation and new ideas to make it the best event throughout the world. They have come to decide to host the event every two years instead of consecutive years. 

The Dubai International Film Festival is a must-visit for all kinds of theatre enthusiasts. It happens for approximately one week in the city of Dubai. The latest one was held from 6th December - 13th December 2019 and the next one is scheduled for the year 2021.

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