Egyptian production company New Century Production and France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC) will each present a new award at this year’s edition of Dubai Film Connection (DFC).

The $10,000 New Century Filmmaker Award aims to encourage and promote talented Arab filmmakers and will be presented to a director or scriptwriter with a distinctive project in DFC.

“The DFC aims to raise the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulate the growth of film production originating from the Arab world. We are pleased to welcome New Century Production on board and look forward to working with them at our tenth edition and a successful partnership in the coming years,” said DFC and Film Forum director Jane Williams.

New Century is a new production arm of Egypt’s Dollar Film, one of the Arab world’s oldest film companies, which also specialises in film distribution.

CNC’s $13,700 (Euros10,000) award, given to a producer, is intended to further the development of the winning project. “We believe Dubai is a great platform to show our interest in content coming from Arabic speaking countries,” said CNC head of international co-production Julien Ezanno.

Last year’s DFC saw the launch of the $10,000 Front Row/KNCC award, which went to Raed Andoni’s Ghost Hunting. “We enjoyed last year’s selection so much that my partner Hisham [Alghanim at KNCC] suddenly decided to create this award to encourage up-and-coming filmmakers,” said Front Row’s Gianluca Chakra.

Other awards at the seven-year-old projects market include the Film Clinic/DIFF Debut Feature Award, prizes from Arte and Organisation Internationale De La Francophonie and three DIFF awards of $25,000. DFC has also partnered with Cannes’ Producers Network to send five Arab producers to Cannes each year.

So far 393 meetings have been booked by 63 companies for this year’s DFC, compared to 370 meetings booked by 54 companies last year.