UAE heads to Cannes Film Festival to showcase its industry
UAE media organisations, including Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC), Twofour54 and Sharjah Children’s Festival, have joined forces at the UAE Pavilion at Cannes, to promote the UAE’s thriving film and production industry.
Commenting, Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission and Managing Director of Dubai Studio City said; “Cannes is an excellent platform to build awareness around what is happening in the UAE, and to showcase the emirates’ development into one of the region’s leading media and entertainment hubs. The UAE continues to attract a growing number of productions, and its world-class facilities and infrastructure, as well as its unique choice of locations, have set it apart as a truly dynamic filming destination.
“In addition to building relationships with influential players in the global film industry and sharing the UAE’s achievements, we will be unveiling our new brand for its soft launch. Our new logo forms the outline of a camera, shaped by the English and Arabic letter D, and reaffirms our commitment to promoting film and the international industry. Our 2015 Production Guide will be launched during the Festival, which provides the contact details of companies from across the production value chain and gives an overview of Dubai’s diverse and unique locations, as well as useful information about visiting and filming in the emirate.”
Abdulhamid Juma, the Chairman of DIFF, said: “Collaborating with key film establishments via a dedicated UAE pavilion at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival brings professional and emerging filmmakers together and is the centre of activity for the Arab filmmaking community at Cannes. This is a crucial opportunity to boost the profile of the films, talent, services and locations to the rest of the world and do business with other international territories which is essential for the future success of the burgeoning UAE film industry. Arab cinema has made great strides over the past decade, with more and more films reaching audiences both at home and abroad, as we look towards our 12th year, we are more excited than ever to share these incredible achievements.”
Speaking about their participation, Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Director of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival, said: “Our participation at the Cannes Film Festival in France, one of the world’s most important film festivals, aims to familiarize the international audience with the film industry in the UAE, which has the potential to become a global hub for the film industry, in addition to gain an insight into and benefit from international cinematic experiences, thereby contributing to developing the UAE experience and opening up wider horizons.”
She added: “The Cannes Film Festival offers us a precious opportunity to make the best use of such a global movie extravaganza that provides us with an ideal platform to promote local film festivals, particularly the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival, while networking and connecting with industry leaders of directors, producers and filmmakers, which would help enhance the UAE presence in the world film forums.”
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai’s Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing said; “Hosting film and television productions in Dubai provides a unique marketing tool to promote the Emirate and Dubai Tourism works hand-in-hand with our partners at DFTC to attract and host such projects. Cannes provides a leading opportunity to highlight Dubai’s offering as a filming location but also provides a platform for the film talent of the Emirate. As part of Dubai’s presence at this year’s festival, we are delighted to be showcasing ‘Hello World’, a short film by Dubai-resident Kamil Roxas, inspired by the #MyDubai initiative of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. It is no doubt that in providing Kamil with the opportunity to showcase his talent at Cannes, we will inspire other talents to use Dubai as the setting for their own productions.”
Paul Baker, executive director of twofour54’s TV and Film services said: “We, at twofour54, have always played a part in UAE’s pavilion at Cannes Film Festival to showcase our growing media and film industry to the world. Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer in terms of our Film Commission’s 30 percent rebate, diverse filming locations, experienced crew and an upgraded post production facility.”
Baker added: “We hope to further strengthen the film industry in country and continue enhancing the ecosystem we are building in Abu Dhabi.”