Festival Overview

Launched in 2022, the META Film Fest is the only international film festival in Dubai. The festival opened its doors to a welcomed reception and outpour of appreciation and enthusiasm from movie fans and filmmakers, who had sorely missed the presence of an international film festival in Dubai.

The inaugural edition, which took place from 27-29 of October 2022, showcased 67 movies including shorts, documentaries and full feature films from 25 countries.

The Hollywood movie Emily, the Debut Film of the incredibly talented Frances O’Conner, an accomplished actress who has starred in several Hollywood box office hits, opened the festival on October 27th to a packed theatre at VOX Cinemas, Nakheel Mall. Frances captivated the audience with her opening remarks and engaged movie fans during the Q&A session post the premiere. The premiere was followed by a packed opening gala reception, where stars and fans enjoyed event hospitality only Dubai can offer.

Attended by thousands of movie fans from the UAE and the region, key cast members including Directors, Producers or talent of the movies onsite were amongst the audience. Each movie kicked off with an introduction from the cast and crew and was wrapped up with Q&A from the audience. A total of 137 cast and crew, including some huge movie stars from around the world were present at the premieres of their respective films.

The festival also included panel discussions and workshops led by some key industry figures, including the Oscar Winning Producer Andres Vincent Gomez and Egyptian Superstar Ahmad Magdy, who shared their knowledge and insights with movie fans and university students enrolled in film programs across the country.

A star-studded red carpet, awards ceremony and closing party wrapped up the three-day festival. The jury comprised of 7 incredible filmmakers, headed by Emirati Filmmaker, Poet and Artist, Nujoom Al Ghanem, who had the difficult task of judging the 58 films in competition for feature, short, documentary and debut categories, and a total of 12 awards and cash prizes were distributed at the awards ceremony.

The 2023 edition of META Film Fest will build upon the success of inaugural edition, working towards the event’s vision, which is to become the Middle East’s most credible film festival, led by quality and diversity of content, seniority of jury, offering of workshops and masterclasses for young filmmakers, uncovering award winning films, competitive global marketing and PR, and industry-built and industry-led reputation.

The following will be recognized at the festival’s closing party and awards ceremony: