Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced its partnership with Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the region, which will see the bank lending support to DIFF’s Enjaaz programme. Under the partnership agreement, Emirates NBD will support a selection of Arab filmmakers with post production, enabling them to raise the visibility of regional films in international markets.
“We are proud to confirm that Emirates NBD will once again support the region’s cinematic artists. Without the support of such institutions, filmmakers in the region struggle to complete their projects,” Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman, DIFF, said. “The bank has extended its support from its sponsorship of the Emirates NBD People’s Choice Award (in 2013), to funding a selection of Enjaaz films; a number of which will be screened at the Festival this year. We are always delighted to see such projects reach fruition.”
Enjaaz is the DIFF post-production support programme, part of the Festival’s Dubai Film Market (DFM) initiative, which supports filmmakers with all-important funding. The programme aims to widen the choice of Arab films shown to audiences; raise the profile of Arab films across the world; increase opportunities for the sale and distribution of Arab films; and help make the regional film industry more sustainable.
Commenting on the partnership agreement, Shayne Nelson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Emirates NBD said, “Emirates NBD is proud to be sponsoring the Dubai International Film Festival yet again and this year, we are playing a meaningful role by participating in Enjaaz, a programme that supports young Arab filmmakers. As a homegrown bank, we have always believed in the potential of local and regional talent, and our investment in this particular initiative embodies Emirates NBD’s strong commitment to nurturing exceptional creativity.
“We are confident that our continued association with DIFF, and more importantly the support for Enjaaz, will empower the potential for excellence in regional filmmaking,” Nelson added.
The Dubai Film Market (DFM) has had notable success since its launch in 2007, supporting more than 240 filmmakers and helping promote projects that otherwise may have remained unseen. For example, the Enjaaz-supported ‘Omar’ directed by Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad, which opened DIFF in 2013, was nominated for an Oscar in 2014. ‘Omar’ previously won Best Film and Best Director at the prestigious DIFF Muhr Awards, as well as the Un Certain Regard jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013.
Other notable success stories include ‘Factory Girl’, directed by Mohamed Khan, which had its worldwide premiere screening on the third day of DIFF 2013 and won two Muhr awards in the same year. Now, ‘Factory Girl’ has been selected as Egypt’s Official Entry for the Foreign Language Category at the Academy Awards 2015.