31st December, 2015


DIFF, Image Nation and Arab directors launch movement to help boost regional film industry

DUBAI, DECEMBER 8, 2015: Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has joined forces with Image Nation, one of the region’s leading media and entertainment companies, and film directors from across the Middle East to launch a campaign to encourage movie-goers to Support Arab Cinema.

In line with the two organizations’ commitment to building a sustainable film industry in the UAE and wider region, a far-reaching social media campaign will be launched at DIFF 2015 to galvanize the Arab film community through the hashtag #SupportArabCinema.

Throughout the festival, which runs from December 9 to 16, attendees will be encouraged to pledge support on social media channels and to urge people across the region to watch Arab films in cinemas.

Abeer Abu Shmeis, the Marketing Manager at Image Nation who is spearheading the campaign, said: “Arab films are increasingly made with the same quality as Hollywood productions and are often seen competing on an international level. But for this to continue audiences must go and watch them.

“The Support Arab Cinema campaign – with the hashtag #SupportArabCinema at its heart – aims to raise awareness about all the brilliant Arab movies out there and to boost viewership in cinemas. In turn, this creates more demand and allows more to be made.

“We also feel Arab films are important in shaping people’s perception of the Middle East, offering a more accurate reflection of a true Arab world than the often stereotypical representation created by Hollywood.”

This year, DIFF’s selection includes an impressive program of contemporary Arab films, with more than 70 biopics, comedies, dramas and love stories from the Arabian Peninsula, Levant and North Africa. More than half of these – 40 – are making their global debuts in Dubai; an additional nine are international premieres.

A #SupportArabCinema booth will be set up at DIFF’S market for industry professionals and media and a red-carpet stand will be setup at a prime location for the stars and the public to access. These activations will be used to encourage people attending the festival to pledge their support and become ambassadors for the regional industry.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, said: “Image Nation shares the same mission as DIFF, to support and raise the profile of Arab cinema on a global stage. The incredible talent we have here in the region and the quality of films being produced is evident with the increasing numbers of Arab films winning international recognition at festivals and gaining currency even with audiences who have never visited the region. We wholeheartedly #SupportArabCinema and look forward to seeing this initiative resonate with audiences to experience the diverse and exciting slate of films from the Arab world.”

Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation, said: “The Support Arab Cinema movement underpins the ambitions of DIFF and Image Nation to develop a sustainable film industry in the region. Ultimately we want to help Arab storytelling to flourish and bring more film industry jobs to the Arab world.

We are proud to be launching this campaign at Dubai International Film Festival and hope that movie enthusiasts and the Arab Film community will come together and share our vision.”

The #SupportArabCinema campaign will continue long after the festival closes, with Image Nation and DIFF continuing to raise awareness and garnering support for Arab films both within the Middle East and further afield.

Hany Abu-Assad, the award-winning Palestinian director of The IdolParadise Now and Omar is one of the filmmakers who have announced their support. He said: “I’m very pleased to support this great initiative. It takes long months of continuous work to produce and direct a feature film that tells our true story, without prejudice and stereotypes, to the regional and international audiences.

“To present more than 70 Arab films at the Dubai International Film Festival this year is a proof of our capabilities and our ambition to tell more unique stories that reflect Arab cultures and societies. I encourage everyone to go and watch Arab films in cinemas to be able to maintain the level we have reached in recent years, and to ensure the continuity of this beautiful art. Cinema is a great tool to deliver our messages in a civilised way to the whole world.”

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