The Dubai International Film Festival’s (DIFF’s) co-production market, the Dubai Connection (DFC,) has announced a new strategic partnership with Sørfond, the Norwegian South Film Fund, which will award one developing film project from the DFC.
The award will see the selected project from the Arab world given the opportunity to pitch for crucial support at the Sørfond Pitching Forum in Oslo during the city’s Films from the South Festival in 2017. The partnership between DFC and Sørfond strengthens the DFC’s position as a platform for projects from the region to forge co-production partnerships and gain international support.
The Sørfond Pitching Forum gives filmmakers from around the world the chance to present their projects to potential Norwegian co-producers, with the aim of entering into a co-production agreement and applying for further support from Sørfond. The DFC Award will give one winning project a place at the pitching forum and a pitch course to give them the best possible chance of securing a partnership.
"Since its first round of grants in 2012, Sørfond has become an increasingly important player in the tough market of co-financing film productions beyond the western hemisphere,” says Lasse Skagen, artistic director of Sørfond. “It is obvious that Dubai International Film Festival and the Dubai Film Connection have become the most important meeting place for Arab filmmakers to both present new projects and to screen their finished films. And for Sørfond we are very grateful to become an official partner with this important player in the international film industry.”
Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s managing director, added: “The Dubai Film Connection is a crucial part of DIFF’s commitment to supporting Arab film and ensuring the industry in the region continues to flourish. It is only with support from international partners like Sørfond that we are able to continually grow the DFC as a platform for local talent to gain international support to help bring their projects to fruition, and we are delighted to see the Sørfond DFC Award launch this year.”
The main objective of Sørfond is to stimulate the production of films in emerging markets, as well as to increase cooperation between Norwegian and international film industries. Sørfond has had a presence at the DFC for the past four years.
Part of DIFF’s Dubai Film Market, the DFC launched in 2007 to raise the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulate the growth of film production originating from the Arab world. Since its inception, it has showcased more than 120 fiction and non-fiction film projects in development to regional and international decision makers, and has gained a reputation for selecting the best projects from the Arab world each year. The co-production market introduces Arab filmmakers to regional and international investors and organisations over three days of intensive meetings during DIFF.