Dubai film fest focusing on France

This year's edition set to run Dec. 9-16

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CANNES -- The Arab world will meet French auteur cinema in December when the Dubai International Film Festival puts the spotlight on France for its sixth edition, organizers said Sunday.

The increasingly high-profile Middle Eastern festival, which runs Dec. 9-16, has featured several Gallic and Franco-Arab co-productions in its previous editions, including 2007's "After the War ..." and 2008's "Dawn of the World."

"We selected France as this year's focus because not only is it a nation steeped in cinema history, but it is also a nation that has continually supported Arab cinema through co-productions, and we felt this needed to be recognized and commemorated," DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said.

Arte France Cinema will continue its involvement with the festival for the third consecutive year, presenting its €6,000 ($8,100) International Relations ARTE prize, which recognizes a project with "outstanding originality, personal writing and consistency."

"The Dubai International Film Festival is one of the most celebrated and recognized events in the Middle East, and we believe our association with the festival will showcase the vibrant energy and unique perspective of some of France's most applauded filmmakers," Unifrance president Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre said.