More support to filmmakers

DUBAI - The end of the fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival (GFF) brought about some good news for filmmakers in the region. Following a new collaboration between the GFF and Dubai Film Market’s Enjaaz programme that aims to support filmmakers, production funds for five short films will be provided annually.

By Deepa Narwani

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Published: Fri 22 Apr 2011, 12:40 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:19 AM

“We are extending the Enjaaz initiative in response to the increase in number of short films at the festival. This has been carried out looking at the success of this festival and is done with the aim of improving the overall quality of production,” said Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of the Gulf Film Festival.

“For filmmakers from the Gulf region, the search for film finance is often improvised and informal and the Enjaaz fund is a step towards a central, dedicated platform,” said Masoud Amralla Ali, Festival Director, GFF. “This new initiative will equip, enable and encourage filmmakers who need it most and spur real growth in the industry,” he added. Funding of up to $50,000 will be offered for filmmakers and there will be two cycles. It will complement the existing funding of $100,000 per project offered every year by Enjaaz to features and documentaries in the post-production phase.

A total of five projects will be undertaken in a year, which will enable a continuous flow of films throughout. The first cycle will close on June 1 and the second on October 1. Some of the previously funded projects include “Leaving Baghdad”, which was screened at the GFF 2011. To qualify for selection, the final cut of the short films must be a maximum length of 40 minutes.

Films must be directed by a filmmaker of Gulf nationality or origin and the storyline should be centred on the Arab world, Arab history or Arab culture. Submissions should be made with copies of the final script, synopsis, details of treatment of film, biographies and other necessary details. Short films dominated the scene at the GFF and highlighted the diverse approaches in short filmmaking across the world.

To serve as a substantial platform that highlights the competencies of aspiring filmmakers, the GFF also hosted a series of youth-focused workshops covering various aspects of filmmaking — from acting to production, with special emphasis on short films and their increasing popularity at the festival circuits.

“This has been a very good festival and the figures prove it. There has been a growth of 10-14 per cent in box office attendance. Gerard Courant, who was the In Focus director at the festival, added 15 more portraits to his “Cinematon”, the longest film in the world.

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