IWC and the DIFF also announced the shortlisted projects in the line-up for the USD 100,000 prize for the second IWC Filmmaker Award taking place on December 7 during the 10th edition of DIFF .
The shortlisted projects are: Faiza Ambah’s 'A Reverence for Spiders', Hussain Alriffaei’s 'Siege' written by Bahraini author Ameen Saleh, Waleed Al Shehhi’s 'Dolphins' written by UAE author Ahmed Salmeen, and Zeyad Alhusaini’s 'How I Got There'.
The four projects in development will be assessed by a jury of international film industry experts, headed by Blanchett, who will consider the scripts and the overall potential of the projects.
Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, aid: “Storytelling is timeless, and stories are our most valuable legacy. With the IWC Filmmaker Award, we recognize storytellers and prize the most exciting voices in Gulf cinema, which is still an untapped resource for rich and unique stories.
"Cinema upholds and nourishes the fertile legacy of the region’s culture and allows audiences from around the world to delve into a world different from their own. It is an honour to embark on our second year with the award and contribute to local storytelling.”
The winner of the award will be announced at a gala dinner on December 7.