‘Dune’ awards season glory: Abu Dhabi-shot sci-fi is only film to bag more than two Baftas

Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner also congratulates the cast and crew on their wins at the Critics Choice Awards

Zendaya, pictured, stars in award-winning sci-fi epic 'Dune' alongside Timothee Chalamet. Reuters
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While Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog has been winning many of the big film awards this year, Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic Dune is taking home far more.

At Sunday's Bafta awards, the film, starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, won five trophies from its 11 nominations, for visual effects, production design, sound, Greig Fraser’s cinematography and Hans Zimmer’s score.

Scroll through the gallery below to see images from the Baftas 2022 red carpet:

It was shot in the Liwa desert in the summer of 2019. The vast open landscape was used as the setting for the planet Arrakis — a dangerous place known for its exclusive supply of Spice, the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe.

“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Denis Villeneuve and the cast and crew of Dune on securing five incredible wins," said Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner.

"Dune is the only film to secure more than two trophies at the Bafta awards this year. I can’t help but be proud of Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s and Abu Dhabi-based production company Epic Films’ collaborative involvement, and celebrate the breathtaking natural landscape of Liwa in Abu Dhabi — the perfect backdrop for planet Arrakis in the film."

The Critics Choice Awards 2022 were also held on Sunday night, and Dune was the recipient of three awards: Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects and Best Score.

This is a true testament to everyone’s efforts working on the film in Abu Dhabi
Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner

"Dune also received a host of nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture, at the Critics Choice Awards 2022," said Fraikin. "The film benefited from Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30 per cent cashback rebate, and I must note this is a true testament to everyone’s efforts working on the film in Abu Dhabi.”

Earlier this year, the film took home the Best Score Golden Globe, and received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography. The Academy Awards will take place on March 27.

“Abu Dhabi has played host to a growing slate of fantastic, award-winning films and we are very proud of Dune’s well-deserved nominations for 10 categories including Best Picture," Fraikin told The National at the time.

"We always knew that this film would be a spectacular piece of cinematography, and its critical and commercial success have shown it was even more impressive than we imagined."

In a behind-the-scenes video previously released by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Villeneuve revealed what drew him to Liwa as a central location for the film.

"What I found in Abu Dhabi is unmatchable. There’s a scale to the dunes and the desert in a variety of shapes that we thought was absolutely mesmerising," he says.

"There’s also some climatic conditions there that were perfect for us because of the proximity to the city, it's like a strange kind of haze in that air that I was looking for that matched totally with the look of the film.”

Updated: February 07, 2024, 1:30 PM