UAE film industry to showcase at Cannes

Abu Dhabi and Dubai officials in France to promote the emirates as a filming location
UAE film industry to showcase at Cannes
By Beatrice Thomas
Wed 14 May 2014 11:54 AM

After winning contracts to stage blockbusters such as The Fast and the Furious VII, Mission Impossible IV and the upcoming seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise, media and entertainment organisations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have combined to showcase the UAE’s emerging film industry at the Cannes Film Festival, which begins in France today, in a bid to attract more high profile Hollywood movies to shoot in the emirates.

Delegates from twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), twofour54 creative lab, Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) and twofour54 intaj are attending the event, which runs from May 14 to 25.

The pavilion will also be hosted by representatives of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), as well as the Dubai Film Market (DFM) and Gulf Film Festival.

“I would like to thank the UAE’s leadership for bringing so many media organisations together under the same umbrella at this wonderful event,” said Ali Al Jabri, director of ADFF.

“Cannes is an excellent platform to build awareness of what is happening in the UAE, and by working together we can show that the emergence of a regional media and entertainment hub in the UAE is not just an idea – it’s already happening. We take pride in highlighting to the world that our leadership and the entire country are behind our talent and production, through the UAE Pavilion. Cannes is a great opportunity for audiences to experience Arab Films.”

Abdul Hamid Juma, the chairman of DIFF, said: “The Festival de Cannes has been spearheading the development of the film industry worldwide for 67 years. The Festival celebrates cinema at an international level, welcoming some of the world’s greatest film artists whilst also acting as a springboard for creation and emerging talent. The budding Arab film industry has made great progress over the past 10 years of our establishment and we are very excited to showcase the achievements and new talent coming out of the region in collaboration with our partners.”

Jamal Al Sharif, chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission, said: “The UAE has a lot to offer international filmmakers, state-of-the-art sound stages; an abundant choice of outdoor locations; and world class infrastructure. Bringing the full UAE film industry out in force at Cannes plays an important role in supporting the development of the film industry, and associated industries such as tourism, transportation, financial services and construction sectors in the UAE, benefiting the whole country.”

In addition to building relationships with some of the most influential players in the global film industry, twofour54 said it would raise awareness of its initiates to help build a media hub. Delegates from ADFF will scout for films to screen at the next edition of the festival, while ADFC will highlight the 30 percent rebate on qualifying spend that is drawing international productions to Abu Dhabi.

The companies said creative lab will show films from the creative community in the short film corner in a bid to boost the chances of the films being selected by international festivals.

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