Cate Blanchett Head Dubai's IWC Filmmaker
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Number of applicants for the nod has tripled, meaning more aspiring Gulf filmmakers have feature-length chops

ROME – Cate Blanchett will head the Dubai International Film Festival’s IWC Filmmakers Award jury which will select the winner among four shortlisted feature-film projects being developed by directors from the Gulf region.

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.”

Blanchett is heading Dubai’s IWC Filmmakers Jury – which awards a $100,000 prize, provided by Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen – for the second consecutive year.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma noted in a statement that the number of applicants for the conspicuous cash prize tripled this year “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,” he said.

The winner will be announced at a December 7 gala event during the Dubai fest’s upcoming 10th edition.

The Dubai fest will run December 6-14.

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