Image Nation Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Film Market (DFM), the business arm of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), will join forces for the fourth year to support local and regional filmmaking talent to bring compelling Gulf films to wider audiences.
The association will see Image Nation and DIFF’s Enjaaz production support programme, award AED250,000 ($68,000) to five Gulf filmmakers for their short film projects.
This is another collaboration between Image Nation and the Dubai Film Market to help boost the regional film industry. Past initiatives include the social media campaign #SupportArabCinema and Arab Film Studio’s (AFS) new scriptwriting competition.
Submissions will be judged by a panel of experts from Image Nation and Enjaaz who will select five talented filmmakers who have submitted compelling storytelling projects that will enrich and entertain audiences both in the region and beyond. The allocated funds will provide the chosen filmmakers with the resources they need to start or complete production and help eventually present them to worldwide audiences.
Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director said: “We are delighted to join forces once more with Image Nation, supporting the Arab world’s brightest emerging and established filmmakers is a priority for both of our organisations. The partnership was designed to increase the number of films from the region that can educate, inspire, influence and entertain whilst at the same time offer a window to issues, cultures and destinations unknown to a wider international audience. Film is arguably the most popular and powerful art form today and we look forward to showcasing a new slate of compelling and captivating Gulf films at DIFF this December.”
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, said: “Our partnership with DFM once more underscores Image Nation’s and DFM’s ambitions to help develop a sustainable film industry in the region.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the array of talent from this year’s festival and uncovering some filmmaking stars of the future.”
Launched in 2009, Enjaaz has supported more than 120 Arab feature and short films to date, bringing Arab films to the screen and maximizing their potential for international sales and distribution.
Many of those filmmakers have also gone onto receive industry and international recognition for their projects on the world stage with a significant number of Arab films showcased at the Academy Awards, the BAFTAS and international film festivals including Berlin Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.
Past recipients of DIFF’s Enjaaz support programme for short films that have gone onto achieve international acclaim include; It’s About to Rain by Haider Rashid, Baghdad Messi and The Bad Hunter by Sahim Omar Kalifa and Cotton by Luay Fadhil.