A still from Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir's feature "Wajib," winner of the best film and best actor prize at the 14th edition of DIFF in 2017. Photo courtesy of the Beirut Cinema Platform
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Change has come to the Gulf's oldest international film festival, and brought with it a little more uncertainty for the region's filmmakers.As of 2019, it said, DIFF will be a biennial.DIFF's been a resilient festival.Notably absent from Wednesday's press release were DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma, founding artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali and managing director Shivani Pandya – festival stalwarts since its early years whose remarks are routinely quoted by DIFF press releases.Launched in 2004 as a top-tier exhibition platform for Arabic-language film and international cinema, DIFF has undergone a number of changes over the years that have made it a significant player in the region's film industry.Later DIFF's signature trophy, the Muhr, was also awarded to films from the Gulf.DIFF has become, and remained, an important cog in the regional film production wheel because of the creation and of Dubai Film Market.The first plank in DIFF's industry platform was Dubai Film Connection, the region's first international co-production market, in 2007 .
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