'Dune' wins six Oscars: Abu Dhabi-shot sci-fi film gets most awards on the night

Denis Villeneuve's epic sci-fi has been on a winning streak

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It was the only film to win more than two Baftas, and now Dune, the Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi movie that was partly shot in Abu Dhabi, has bagged six Oscars.

The 94th Academy Awards took place on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

It was a dramatic night, not least because of the dazzling outfits on the red carpet and tearful speeches, but also because of the on-stage tussle between Will Smith and Chris Rock, with Smith hitting Rock for joking about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the best-dressed women on the red carpet at the Oscars 2022:

Dune — adapted from Frank Herbert's book series of the same name — received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Cinematography and Adapted Screenplay.

It won Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

The film, which stars Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Zendaya, was shot in the Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi 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.

“This is an absolutely phenomenal moment," Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner, told The National. "A huge congratulations to all on this incredible success."

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I speak for everyone in Abu Dhabi when I say we are very proud to have contributed to its success
Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner

Fraikin said the film has "performed the rare achievement of becoming critically acclaimed for its technique, storytelling and artistry, as well as being one of the biggest box office successes worldwide since its release".

"I speak for everyone in Abu Dhabi when I say we are very proud to have contributed to its success, through Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30 per cent cashback rebate, a successful collaboration with Epic Films, and introducing Denis to the magnificent sea of sand dunes that provided such a unique and memorable location for the shoot, fully embodying the Spice planet Arrakis.

"Making Dune and bringing Denis’s vision to life was a true passion project for many of us, so its success at the Oscars, Baftas and Critics Choice Awards is incredibly rewarding. I am delighted for Legendary Pictures and everyone who worked on the film in Abu Dhabi and around the world.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see all the Oscars 2022 winners:

Best Sound was one of the eight statuettes that were handed out off-air, ahead of the ceremony.

Theo Green, one of Dune's five sound specialists cited by the Academy, thanked Villeneuve in edited remarks shown during the live Oscars telecast. “You, sir, were like the spice flowing through our brains, turning our humble ideas into your imaginary world.”

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Ever since Denis Villeneuve first visited Abu Dhabi looking for a location for the planet Arrakis, it was clear that the emirate’s breathtaking desert landscapes were the perfect backdrop for his adaptation of 'Dune'
Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner

When it was announced that the film had been nominated for 10 awards, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission congratulated its cast and crew, and wished them luck and success at the ceremony.

“Ever since Denis Villeneuve first visited Abu Dhabi looking for a location for the planet Arrakis, it was clear that the emirate’s breathtaking desert landscapes were the perfect backdrop for his adaptation of Dune,” Fraikin said after the nominations were announced.

“The scenes shot in the stunning Liwa desert bring to life the adventure, mystery and romance of this legendary sci-fi tale, taking on a unique character that simply couldn’t have been created anywhere else in the world. 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 light of Dune's success, it was confirmed in October that a sequel is in the works. Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich announced that the studio would release Dune: Part Two in October 2023.

Updated: March 30, 2022, 7:22 AM
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