film fest to promote understanding of Islam
Indo-Asian News Service
Abu Dhabi, Sep 18 (IANS) An initiative to promote understanding
about Islam and the Muslim world to the US entertainment industry
and a special tribute to veteran Hollywood star Jane Fonda
are among the highlights of this year's Middle East International
Film Festival (MEIFF).
The second edition of MEIFF, to be held here Oct 10-19, will
also see prize money across various categories totalling over
$1 million, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
This year's event will see the launch of 'Muslims on Screen
and Television' (MOST) initiative, designed to become "a
cultural resource center providing valuable resources and
information on Islam and Muslims for the US entertainment
Its aim is to meet the critical need for increased understanding
and accurate representation on both sides at a time of tension
and suspicion between the US and the Muslim world, the report
quoted MEIFF executive director Nashwa Al Ruwaini as saying.
The new initiative is being launched in collaboration with
the Saban Center for Middle Eastern Policy at the Brookings
Institute in Washington.
"Abu Dhabi's cultural project, with its future horizons
and openness to the other, would not be completed without
a strong presence of cinema which constitutes one of the major
themes of contemporary culture," Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei,
the MEIFF vice chairman and director general of the Abu Dhabi
Authority on Culture and Heritage (ADACH), said while announcing
the agenda of MEIFF 2008.
This year's MEIFF will be held across 10 days and the prize
money for the prestigious Black Pearl Awards has been increased
to over a million dollars.
The Black pearls will be presented in the categories of fiction,
documentary, animation, shorts, student films and animation.
"Our extended 10 days of the festival along with the
new and returning sections of the festival will add on to
the quality of achieving status as a must attend festival,"
In its second year, she said, MEIFF would strive to become
a centre for filmmakers in the region and internationally
to meet and present their films in a city fast becoming the
leading cultural centre in the Middle East.
Another highlight in this year's event is a tribute to Hollywood
veteran and two-time Academy award winner Jane Fonda.
In this year's festival, films from 35 countries will be screened.
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