Oscar winner Blanchett to head Dubai film fest jury

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Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett will head the IWC Filmmakers Award jury.

Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett will head the IWC Filmmakers Award jury.

Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett will head the IWC Filmmakers Award jury for the second year at Dubai International Film Festival, it has been announced.

IWC and the DIFF also announced the shortlisted projects in the line-up for the $100,000 prize for the second IWC Filmmaker Award taking place during the 10th edition of DIFF.

The 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, said: “Storytelling is timeless, and stories are our most valuable legacy. With the IWC Filmmaker Award, we recognise storytellers and prize the most exciting voices in Gulf cinema, which is still an untapped resource for rich and unique stories."

DIFF chairman, Abdulhamid Juma, said: “This year we received three times as many entries for the award as in 2012, which speaks for the numerous filmmakers in the region who are ready to take on a feature project and have already done considerable work in terms of putting together a team and financing.

"The award recognises their vision and gives them a boost with seed money that will attract further investment.”

The winner of the award will be announced during the 2013 festival at a gala dinner which is scheduled to take place on December 7.

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