Programmers expand roles for upcoming event
LONDON — The Dubai Intl. film fest, which unspools Dec. 11-18, has added a new programming structure ahead of its fifth edition.Masoud Amralla Al Ali will retain and expand his role as artistic director of the festival, with increased creative authority over the festival’s overall program direction. Al Ali is widely credited as the driving force behind the introduction of the fest’s Muhr Prize in 2006. Competish, which celebrates excellence in Arab cinema and has become arguably the most prominent showcase of films from the region, has given Dubai a strong cultural dimension. In addition to returning programmers Simon Field, formerly director of Rotterdam, and Sheila Whitaker, formerly director of the London film fest, Dubai has tapped journos Antonia Carver and Erfan Rashid as programming consultants. Film critic Philip Cheah has also been added as program consultant for fest’s new Asian and African Muhr competish.