Dubai sets Dec. dates

Organizers try to coordinate efforts with other key festivals

Dubai Media City, the folks behind the Dubai Film Fest, unveiled dates Friday for its next edition. Event will unspool Dec. 11-17.

The Dubai fest organizers are trying to coordinate efforts and find synergies with other key festivals around the Arab world. A round of such consultations recently took place in Cairo and involved Dubai Media City honcho Abdulhamid Juma and Cairo film fest topper Cherif El Shoubashy.

Slight shifts were made in dates of four major fests to make sure they do not clash but that the segue is smooth.

Here’s the calendar:

Marrakech – Nov. 11-19

Damascus – Nov. 20-27

Cairo – Nov. 29-Dec. 9

Dubai – Dec. 11-17

Organizers of the Dubai event said in Cannes they hoped to build on the foundation that was laid with the inaugural fest in 2004.

Fest director Neil Stephenson said one upcoming priority would be to increase the successful Arab programming section of the fest and to introduce some special educational events to support aspiring young United Arab Emirate filmmakers.

The first Dubai event attracted 13,000 people and featured 76 films.