DIFF opens third round of post-production funding

Published November 7th, 2010 - 11:38 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Enjaaz, the dedicated post-production fund of the Dubai International Film Festival, is inviting Arab filmmakers around the world to apply for its 2011 edition, weeks after the successful close of its 2010 cycle.

Enjaaz, launched by the Dubai Film Market in keeping with its objective to provide funds and support for films in development, selects up to 15 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 in its 2010 cycle. Applications are now open for its February 2011 cycle. The titles and details of this year's selected films will be announced in coming weeks.

Post-production, which includes all the editing, sound, special effects and specialized processes that begin once filming has wrapped, plays a vital role in shaping the final product.

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, said: "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."

Koutaiba Al-Janabi, director of Departure, said: "Initiatives like Enjaaz allow emerging filmmakers to attain cinematic standards of professional calibre. Enjaaz helped me realize the standards I had set for my first movie, which in turn, enabled me to showcase it to a global audience. These initiatives are extremely important to drive the growth of the film industry in the region."

To qualify for selection, the final cut of the feature films must be a work of fiction that equals or exceeds 60 minutes in length, while documentary films must be non-fiction that exceeds 50 minutes. Films must be directed by an Arab filmmaker and the subject and storyline of the film must be centred on the Arab world, Arab history, and/or Arab culture for the respective competitions.

Applications for the first 2011 cycle will close on February 1, 2011, and the decision on distribution of funds will be made on March 15, 2011. In the second cycle, entries will close on August 1, 2011, and funding decisions announced by September 15, 2011. Details on submission requirements are available at www.dubaifilmfest.com.

DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF. 

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