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Posted on
Dec 7, 2013

Dubai Film Fest: Cate Blanchett Dishes Out IWC Filmmaker Award

The $100,000 prize went to UAE filmmaker Waleed Al Shehhi for his family drama “Dolphins.”

DUBAI – The second day of the Dubai International Film Festival concluded Saturday evening with the IWC Filmmaker award and its jury headed by Cate Blanchett. The event was a collaboration with Swiss watch makers IWC Schaffhausen.

The awards saw $100,000 presented to one of four nominated Arab film projects as Blanchett presided for the second year running, having done so in 2012 for IWC’s inaugural event in Dubai.

“We had such a robust collection of submission,” said the actress at the award’s red carpet opening, held away from the festival’s main center in the plush The One & Only Royal Palm resort.

“The short list was very sophisticated, unique and diverse. It was a terribly hard decision.”

The decision eventually went to UAE filmmaker Waleed Al Shehhi for his family drama Dolphins, written by local author and poet Ahmed Salmeen. The title beat out Kuwaiti project How I Got There by Zeyad Alhusaini, Hussein Al-Riffaei’s Bahraini feature Siege and U.S.-based film A Reverence For Spiders, by Saudi director Faiza Ambah.

Al Shehhi said that with the funding he hoped to start work on his film early next year. More Photos

Coming just 24 hours after the 10thedition of the film festival kicked off, the IWC Filmmaker Award welcomed many of the same faces that had graced the opening ceremony the night earlier.

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