Dubai International Film Festival 2018 officially cancelled

The organisers of the Dubai International Film Festival have officially called off this year's film extravaganza, announcing from now on the event will take place every two years, starting 2019.

The news comes in after a week of rumours regarding the future of the DIFF and the organisers said they plan to adopt "a new strategy to support the growth and evolution of the film and content industries".

According to a press release on DIFF's official website, the decision to hold the festival biennially from next year is a "strategic shift" to respond to the evolving creative landscape in the region.

"The strategic shift aims to embrace the significant changes taking place in the region's creative and entertainment landscape. The new strategy also seeks to leverage the emergence of exciting new talent and innovative new technologies that are rapidly transforming the content landscape in the region.

"The Festival will occur every two years with the 15th edition, which will reflect DIFF's changed strategy, confirmed to be hosted in Dubai in 2019," the statement by the festival read.

Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman Dubai Film and TV Commission, said the decision reinforced Dubai's image as a "forward-thinking player" in the entertainment industry and the step will redefine the standards endorsed by the festival.

"DIFF has established Dubai as a world-class destination in the film and content industry. It serves as a platform to promote cultural understanding between the region and the world, as well as the development of the local and regional film industry, giving the opportunity to many ambitious filmmakers to shine.

"With the vast changes taking place both in the regional and global movie-making and content industry, we are seeking to redefine the Dubai International Film Festival’s approach towards nurturing growth, creativity and talent. Innovative new approaches and technologies are transforming the distribution of content and the craft of movie-making. As a forward-thinking player in the global film industry, DIFF seeks to embrace the future of the industry through this strategic shift.

He added that the final dates, details and the new programme will be announced as soon as they were confirmed.

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