Dubai programs local competish

Cannes Brief

Dubai Intl. Film Festival is introducing its first-ever competitive section at this year’s 3rd edition. The competition, which will play alongside the fest’s regular program, will focus solely on Arab films. Eligible pics must be helmed by an Arab, feature an Arab storyline or subject matter that focuses on Arab world and culture. Deadline for applications is Oct. 1.

Focus on Arab film is a key part of DIFF’s strategy to support and bolster filmmaking in the region. “We’ve thought about this a lot and we feel it’s the right time. It fits in perfectly with our objectives of promoting and encouraging Arab cinema,” said Neil Stephenson, DIFF director.

Also new to this year’s lineup is a Lifetime Achievement Award. The third DIFF spools Dec. 10-17.