More than 900 films from the Arab world, Asia and Africa will compete for the region’s leading film honours, the 2009 Muhr Awards, during the sixth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival this December.
The entries are from more than 62 nations across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Europe. The documentaries, short films and feature films will compete for 28 prizes in acting, cinematography, editing, music and scriptwriting in addition to jury and general excellence awards.
Together, the DIFF Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards offer more than US$575,000 in prize money, in addition to the acclaim of a prestigious international jury.
The 2009 Muhr Arab competition, open to directors of Arab nationality or origin, drew around 437 entries including documentaries, feature films and shorts from the Gulf, Levant and Maghreb nations as well as Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Muhr AsiaAfrica competition, currently in its second year, received over 513 entries in the three categories. Entries came from more than 33 nations, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in South Asia; Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in Central Asia; Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Macau, Indonesia, and China in the Far East and Burundi, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa across the African continent.
DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said the bumper crop of entries will give audiences an insider’s look at modern realities around the world, and help emerging and established filmmakers get the support they deserve.
“The Muhr Awards are valuable for all DIFF audiences,” Al Ali said. “Audience members get to see rare, new and quality films they cannot otherwise access and our industry guests gain the opportunity to see the world’s best films in a single location.”
Six international juries will now shortlist the Muhr entries. The 28 winning entries will screen during the sixth Dubai International Film Festival, from December 9 to 16, 2009.
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