Emirati Layla Kaylif wins IWC Filmmaker Award at DIFF

Emirati Layla Kaylif wins IWC Filmmaker Award at DIFF

Inspired by her father's childhood in Dubai

Editor: Faizal Dahlawia

Image: Getty Images

The jury have spoken and the coveted IWC Filmmaker Award goes to a romanticised retelling of true events by Emirati Layla Kaylif...

On the second night of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Emirati Layla Kaylif was named the winner of the IWC Filmmaker Award and was presented with the award by Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel. Now in its fourth year, Kaylif won for her script The Letter Writer, which is about a young boy who is a professional letter-writer for the illiterate.

Inspired by her father's childhood stories in Dubai in the '60s, the script can now be brought to life on screen thanks to the accompanying prize money of Dhs367,000. A singer-songwriter by profession, this project will be Kaylif's first foray into films.

Kaylif was one of three entrants shortlisted for the award this year. Out of 17 entrants for the award, a final three were shortlisted. The other two finalists were Qatari director Khalifa Al Muraikhi for his project Sahaab and Saudi director Shahad Ameen for her feature Scales.

DIFF runs until December 16, 2015.