Cate Blanchett to head jury panel at Diff 2017

The Australian actress and director join the IWC Award team once again

FILE - In this April 11, 2017, file photo, actress Cate Blanchett poses during a photocall ahead of a diner for the launch of a Louis Vuitton leather goods collection in collaboration with artist Jeff Koons at the Louvre Museum, in Paris. Blanchett, Justin Timberlake, U2 and Salma Hayek are among the stars joining an hour-long live television special about reinventing American high schools. Organizers announced Thursday, Sept. 7, that Kelly Clarkson has also been added as a performer to the star-studded "EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live" show. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Hollywood actress and director Cate Blanchett is set to return to the Dubai International Film Festival to head up the IWC Filmmakers Jury for the sixth IWC Filmmaker Award.

The coveted award gives cinematic talent from the region a chance to bring their projects to the silver screen.

It will be presented during this year's Diff, which is scheduled to take place from December 6-13.

Marking her third appearance on the Diff red carpet, and having already chaired the IWC jury in 2013, Blanchett joins the panel that will select a win­ning project from the shortlisted entries.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 07:  Waleed Al Shehhi is presented with his award by Georges Kern (L), Cate Blanchett and DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma on stage at "For The Love of Cinema - IWC Filmmakers Award" during day two of the 10th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the One and Only Mirage Hotel on December 7, 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for DIFF) *** Local Caption *** Georges Kern; Cate Blanchett; Waleed Al Shehhi; Abdulhamid Juma

A US$100,000 cash prize will be awarded to one feature-length film pro­ject in development to help the winning filmmaker bring their idea to fruition.

Previous years have seen winning scripts from Emirati directors Abdullah Hassan Ahmed and Layla Kaylif, Kuwaiti director Abdullah Boushahri and British-Iraqi director Maysoon Pachachi.

“Each year, the bar is set higher by the scripts we receive for the IWC Filmmaker Award and our expert jury members have tough decisions to make," says DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma.

"We are privileged to welcome back an icon of the silver screen to Dubai to lend her insight to the distin­guished jury and inspire emerging talent from the reg­gion."

Two-time Oscar winner Blanchett has featured in hits including The Aviator, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all three The Lord of the Rings films, Carol and Blue Jasmine.

The Australian actress has broken multiple Academy Awards records, including being the only actress in history to be nominated more than once for the same role, having played Elizabeth I in both Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and the first person to win an Oscar for portraying another Oscar winner for her per­formance as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

The IWC Filmmaker Award will be presented to the win­ning filmmaker at a star-studded gala on December 7.

For more on Diff go to www.dubaifilmfest.com

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