DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 08: Ali Suliman, Actor (L), Abdullah Hassan Ahmed, Director (C), Olga Kurylenko , Actress and model (R) attends the fifth IWC Filmmaker Award gala dinner at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), during which Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its long-standing passion for filmmaking at One And Only Royal Mirage on December 8, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

IWC Schaffhausen and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) have begun taking submissions for the sixth IWC Filmmaker Award. The award comes with a USD 100,000 cash prize and aims to bring a feature-length film project being developed by a Gulf director to the screen. The winner will be announced at the IWC gala dinner during the 14th edition of the DIFF in December 2017.

For the sixth consecutive year, IWC Schaffhausen is the official ‘Festival-Time’ partner of DIFF, where the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer will once again present the IWC Filmmaker Award to a promising Arab director. “Supporting filmmakers and their projects is something we are very passionate about. As watchmakers, we completely understand how much time and effort filmmakers invest in creating a true work of art that people can emotionally connect with”, explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma added: “We are honoured to be working with IWC Schaffhausen once again to support talented filmmakers in the Gulf region. Every year, the scripts we receive set a new benchmark in terms of creativity and innovation. We are privileged to be able to help bring the winning story to life in the cinema.”

Entries for the sixth IWC Filmmaker Award can be submitted online via the DIFF website,, from now until 1 August 2017. An independent jury will choose the three short-listed entries, which will then compete for the award.

Last year, the fifth IWC Filmmaker Award went to Emirati director Abdullah Hassan Ahmed for his project “Birth”. It tells the story of an Emirati family through four chapters. The award was presented by actress Olga Kurylenko and Palestinian actor Ali Suliman, who was the head of the jury. In the past, the jury had featured celebrities such as Academy Award winner and IWC brand ambassador Cate Blanchett, Golden Globe winner and IWC brand ambassador Emily Blunt, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad and Tunisian actress Hend Sabri. 


With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people, and maintains partnerships with organizations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.


The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the Middle East and Africa. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 14th edition of DIFF will take place from 6 to 13 December 2017. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit or join DIFF on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.