Abu Dhabi: Over one million US dollars will be given as cash prizes for filmmakers taking part in the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) held in Abu Dhabi October 10- 19, making it the largest offered for a film festival, said an MEIFF official.
Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazroui, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), said "We made some changes for the festival at its second year to make the event last ten days instead of five, and we have also fixed an annual date for it"
He said at a press conference for the festival, held at the ADACH pavilion in the global village in Cannes “the Festival also offers cash prizes for filmmakers that amount to total of over one million US dollars, which constitute the largest cash prizes for a film festival in the world."
The festival gives awards for all types of films - feature, documentary and animation - and for long, short and student films.
The total number of films which will be presented in three competitions of the three types will be 60 films (18 long films, 22 short films, 20 student films).
The monetary values of the ‘Black Pearl' prizes are equally shared between the producer and director. There are also awards for best actor and best actress, as well as awards for best artistic contribution, that exclude directing and acting.
The festival consists of ten parts: three competitions of the long, short and student films, a special show programme, films from the Gulf Cooperation Council, Arab world programmes, and a programme that honours two figures, one of whom is an Arab.
This year's Festival also will add environmental programmes, and the ‘Festival of Festivals', which displays films from other festivals, as well as history and a competition for advertisements.
“Lila's Birthday" the latest film for the Palestinian director Rasheed Mishharawi will be shown in the festival, said MEIFF management.
The film will be shown with other films in the occasion of 60 years of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) which was chosen to be a historical topic to show 16 hours of documentary and short films related to this issues.