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Joining Blanchett on the jury are IWC Schaffhausen CEO Georges Kern, DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali and Olivier Père, general director of Paris-based Arte France Cinema.
The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award was launched earlier this year with a cash prize of $100,000 to help the winning filmmaker transfer their vision to the screen. IWC Schaffhausen is a Swiss watchmaker.
The shortlisted projects for the award are Nothing Doing in Baghdad by Maysoon Pachachi, The Sleeping Tree by Mohammed Rashed Buali, Girls in the Know by Abdullah Al Kaabi and From A to B by Ali F. Mostafa.
The four feature-length fiction film projects were selected from hundreds of submissions from established and upcoming directors from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
The winner will be announced during the ninth edition of DIFF at a gala event.
Juma said: “We have been overwhelmed with the quality of submissions from a dynamic group of filmmakers who have recognized this incredible opportunity made possible by IWC to help achieve them achieve the ultimate – bringing their script to screen.”
The DIFF takes place Dec. 9-16.
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