Children in the UAE can look forward to an exciting celebration of creative, fun and culturally diverse films at this year’s edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), organisers announced today.
From 10-17 December, DIFF will host an entertaining line-up of children’s films from around the world including animation, features and documentaries.
The announcement is a key part of DIFF’s strategy to enhance the festival’s appeal to young audiences. It also reflects Dubai’s objective to organise events that offer wholesome family entertainment.
Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman, Dubai International Film Festival said: “The impetus for including a children’s section came from the need to promote intelligent and passionate cinema for children and define a more compelling offering for young audiences.
“The feedback that we received from our festival programmers and the DIFF audience in the previous two years suggested that a dedicated section for children’s films was a niche that needed to be filled to gain their increased participation in the festival.”
The 2005 and 2006 editions of the film festival screened critically acclaimed and popular films such as Jungle Kid, Five Children and It, Howl’s Moving Castle and Mad Hot Ballroom. This year, the new segment for children will showcase cinema that reflects the aesthetic and educational impact of films on young minds.
Juma added: “DIFF represents all segments of the society including children, and as we move into our third year, we want to reflect our vision in the programming and the films’ selection process.”
Berlin-based filmmaker and festival organizer, Myrna Maakaron has been selected as the programmer for the new section. Myrna has previously organised film festivals and exhibitions in Lebanon and Germany. She has also served as an Appointed Jury Member for Leipzig dokfilmfestival 0ctober 2005 (German documentary section) and for the Peace Price Berlinale February 2006.
Highlighting the importance of children’s cinema, Myrna said: “In recent years, the success of animated features and other family-based films have signalled a revival of children’s cinema, seen previously in the golden years of Hollywood when cartoon shorts served as opening acts to grown-up films. The complexity of narrative and character in children’s films today aims to address social and cultural conventions, as well as provide wholesome, light-hearted entertainment.”
DIFF organisers are expected to announce the titles of the selected children’s films closer to the festival’s schedule in December.