The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, ‘Supporting’ Sponsor and Official ‘Festival-Time’ Partner of DIFF, have revealed a shortlist of talented Gulf filmmakers for the sixth IWC Filmmaker Award. The award will be presented during the 14th edition of DIFF, which takes place from 6 to 13 December 2017. Four directors from the region will vie for a cash prize of USD 100,000 and the opportunity to bring their vision to life in front of a global audience.

With a passion for film, IWC has partnered with DIFF for the sixth consecutive year to recognize and support talented filmmakers in the Gulf region. The nominees for the 2017 IWC Filmmaker Award are: Emirati director and screenwriter Nayla Al Khaja (above), for “Animal”; Bahraini filmmaker Mohamed Rashed Buali, for his project “Kombars”; Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour, for her feature “Miss Camel”; and Omani filmmaker Muzna Almusafer, for “The Crown of Olives”.

The four shortlisted directors will present their projects at DIFF, where an acclaimed jury headed by Academy Award–winning actress and IWC Schaffhausen brand ambassador Cate Blanchett will determine the potential of each film project and select the winner. Joining Cate Blanchett will be IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma, Tunisian actress and IWC brand ambassador Hend Sabri and DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali. The award will be presented to the winning filmmaker at an exclusive gala event on Thursday, 7 December 2017, at the One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai.

“The promotion and support of up-and-coming filmmakers and their projects is a priority of IWC Schaffhausen. We are looking forward to presenting the IWC Filmmaker Award for the sixth consecutive time at DIFF and helping to shine a light on the creativity and passion of filmmakers in the Gulf region”, explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.

DIFF’s Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali commented: “Thanks to the IWC Filmmaker Award, both promising and established filmmakers have the potential to take their vision from script to screen. The Gulf region is home to a diverse range of cultures and talented filmmakers eager to tell their stories. Our partnership with IWC Schaffhausen is vital in providing an opportunity for them on an international stage.”