The Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) has announced that it will henceforth adopt the title Abu Dhabi Film Festival to strengthen the connection between the festival and the UAE capital.
Justifying the change in name, the festival's executive director Peter Scarlet stated: “It's common practice for major international film festivals to name themselves after the town in which their principal screenings take place. We're happy and proud to be based in Abu Dhabi, so why not say so? At the same time, our goal hasn't changed: to be the principal place where the filmmakers of the Middle East can be discovered by international critics and buyers, and where the residents of Abu Dhabi can discover the best films from the region and from the rest of the world.”
Sanad (which means support in Arabic) will provide development and post-production grants for feature-length narratives and documentaries made by filmmakers from the Arab world. Development grants will be up to $20,000 while those for post-production will be up to $60,000. The selection committee will include members of the Festival’s programming and management teams along with highly qualified film industry professionals.
The fund's selection committee will seek out bold and remarkable projects from both new and established filmmakers with the aim of encouraging artistic innovation. As the first fund to be launched by a film festival with the specific aim of supporting filmmakers from across the Arab world, Sanad also aims to build stronger networks within the region’s film industry.
“Sanad is a concrete way in which the festival can support the region’s filmmakers in developing their own voices and taking their place in the international film community. There's an amazing amount of untapped and unrecognised creative potential in the Arab world and these grants are an important building block in the creation of a vibrant and viable cinema here, especially since they come with the kind of international opportunities and support we can offer," said Peter Scarlet, the Festival's Executive Director.
Applications for the fund are now open until July 15, 2010.
Full Rules & Regulations along with the Application Form are available for download at http://www.meiff.com/industry/sanad