Sending up a cheer for META Film Fest.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Organisers of the META Film Fest have announced that the four-day international motion picture gala will return to Dubai for its second edition from November 9-12. The star-studded annual festival, which strives to showcase the best of international film, aims to be a regional celebration of cinema for filmmakers, industry professionals, and movie lovers.
Building on last year’s inaugural edition, META Film Fest 2023 emphasises quality content, workshops and masterclasses tailored for emerging filmmakers, premieres of cutting edge independent and studio-produced films, and has a high-profile judging panel.
With the support of content partners such as the Royal Film Commission – Jordan, Papillon Creative, Frontrow Entertainment, MAD Solutions and Festival Partners including Cinema Akil, the META Film Fest is set to bolster Dubai’s creative economy and support the UAE’s national strategy for the cultural and creative industries. The four-day celebration of film takes place at VOX Cinemas, Wafi City.
Leila Masinaei, Founder of META Film Fest, said: “Following the festival’s hugely successful debut in 2022, this year’s META Film Fest will cement Dubai’s position and capability as a hub for filmmakers and creatives to congregate, share knowledge and promote their own and their peers’ work. The festival garners immense appreciation from movie enthusiasts and industry professionals, and this year’s edition will see significant growth in both the number and calibre of films being shown.”
Along with an independent, objective approach in its shortlisting process, the META Film Fest tries to ensure that the best of the regional industry is spotlighted. Over the four days, it will show more than 70 movies from 20+ countries, host 10+ workshops, and welcome more than 50 global celebrities and 15,000 attendees. The roster of shortlisted films is set to be announced in the coming weeks.
At the heart of the festival is the stellar red-carpet awards ceremony; it will attract luminaries from the film and entertainment industries, along with international and regional celebrities. The evening, a culmination of four days of cinematic celebration, will honour outstanding films in multiple categories, recognising exceptional talent that contributes to the world of cinema. The awards this year spans 12 categories, covering feature films, short films, documentaries, debut works, student projects, films with a sustainability focus, and newly introduced special categories to celebrate home-grown UAE talent.
Under the theme of Cinema and Sustainability, the festival welcomes eco-friendly lifestyle and homeware brand Innara as its official Sustainability Sponsor, in addition to a number of new directors, aiming to highlight those leading the charge in sustainable practices in film. The fest is organised by GM Events, held in partnership with VOX Cinemas and Wafi City. Stephanie-Alexandra Chartier, Group Head of Marketing, Wafi Group said the partnership underscores its commitment to fostering the UAE’s creative economy strategy.
“Emphasising local content production, promoting Arabic-language content, and empowering youth in the film industry, are crucial aspects we wholeheartedly support,” she said. “Wafi City’s exceptional ambiance and vibrant cultural scene make it a perfect location to celebrate the power of cinema and amplify the voices of emerging talents in this growing festival.”
Sanjay Patney, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, said that “as a long-standing supporter of the regional cinema industry, VOX Cinemas is proud to sponsor the META Film Festival once again. Festivals such as this provide an important platform for filmmakers and key industry stakeholders to connect, share ideas and be inspired as well as enabling established and emerging talent to showcase their creativity on the big screen through the language of film.”
META Film Fest is the first private-sector and industry stakeholder-led film festival in the Middle East and Africa, bringing together iconic productions of Hollywood, Bollywood, European, Asian and African films and stars under one roof. META Film Fest spearheads the growth of the international film industry in the region by attracting global talents to the magic of cinema in Dubai.
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