ROME — Cate Blanchett will head the jury of the Dubai Film Festival’s new IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award for projects by Arab helmers, worth $100,000.

Feature-length projects competing for the generous nod are: “Nothing Doing in Baghdad” by Maysoon Pachachi; “The Sleeping Tree,” by Mohammed Rashed Buali; “Girls in the Know,” by Abdullah Al Kaabi; and “From A to B” by Ali F. Mostafa. The purpose of the cash prize is to help the winner get his vision onto the bigscreen.

The shortlist was selected from hundreds of submissions by new and established helmers from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

Joining Blanchett on the jury panel of this key Dubai nod will be the fest’s artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali, former Locarno fest topper Olivier Pere, who is now general director of Paris-based Arte France Cinema, and Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.

Ninth edition of Dubai will run Dec. 9-16.