Enjaaz, the dedicated post-production fund of Dubai International Film Festival has invited Arab filmmakers around the world to apply for its 2011 grants, just weeks after the successful closure of its 2010 cycle.
Enjaaz selects documentary and fiction feature filmmakers to receive up to US$100,000 annually. It funded seven films as part of its 2009 debut, and a similar number of films have been earmarked for funding for 2010. Applications are now open for its February 2011 cycle. The details of this year's selected films will be announced in coming weeks.
DIFF managing director Shivani Pandya said: "Funding makes a critical difference to filmmakers' ability to deliver quality films under production, and Enjaaz steps in to address this need. The resounding response to Enjaaz reflects the interest in regional and international cinema production. With Enjaaz, the Dubai Film Market covers the entire 'script to screen' filmmaking life cycle."
She added: "For Arab talent to prove their mettle internationally, it is important that they have adequate resources. Enjaaz has already helped create a rich roster of critically acclaimed films. These movies have also grabbed the attention of industry professionals from around the world, who have shown interest in securing their distribution rights."
In 2009, Enjaaz supported Zindeeq, directed by Michel Khleifi; Iman Kamel's Beit Sha'ar, Marianne Khoury and Mustapha Hasnaoui's Zelal (All you need is love), Samir Abdallah's and Khair Al Din Mabrouk Gaza-Strophe, Palestine, Kaouther Ben Hania's Imams Go to School, Koutaiba Al Janabi's Departure and Leila Sansour's The Road to Bethlehem.
Michel Khleifi and Omar Al-Qattan of Zindeeq, commented: "For an emerging filmmaker, there is nothing more challenging than working on a self-financed, independent film. Enjaaz provided us with the opportunity to complete a movie without questioning our aesthetic choices, and in turn present Zindeeq to a diverse audience."
To qualify for the Enjaaz grant, films must be at least 60 minutes in length for fiction, and 50 minutes for documentary. They must be directed by an Arab filmmaker and the subject and storyline of the film must deal with the Arab world, Arab history or Arab culture for the respective competitions.