UAE, Israeli film industries sign deal on TV production collaboration Filed on September 22, 2020 | Last updated on September 22, 2020 at 06.10 am
Israeli film industry,  Emirati film industry, cooperate, deal, Abu Dhabi Film Commission

(Alamy Image)

The partnership comes close on the heels of both the countries signing the US-brokered Abraham Accords to normalise relations and have diplomatic exchange.

Film agencies in Israel and the UAE have announced an agreement to collaborate on television production and host an annual film festival featuring productions and co-productions from both countries.

The partnership comes close on the heels of both the countries signing the US-brokered Abraham Accords to normalise relations and have diplomatic exchange.

Under the agreement, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC), the Israel Film Fund (IFF), and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (JSFS) will create intercultural cooperation, creating content with the goal of promoting tolerance, education and developing a deeper cultural understanding between the Emirati and Israeli people.

The partners have agreed on an agenda consisting of four key initiatives, centred on bilateral workshops, training, education, the International Film Lab and a regional film festival.

Training programmes will be developed for filmmakers from both countries with the aim of developing and producing Abu Dhabi-Israel film and television co-productions.

In partnership with the globally recognised JSFS, Emirati students will be selected to study in one of three educational tracks in its acclaimed Jerusalem campus.

The film agencies hailed the agreement as a way to deepen "cultural understanding" between the countries.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, said: "This agreement strengthens cultural ties between our creative industries as well as supports the development of Abu Dhabi's film and TV sector through the creation of new opportunities for collaboration that will lead to the development of more quality content underpinned by the UAE's values of acceptance and respect."

Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner, said: "We are delighted with this historic cooperation agreement with the Israel Film Fund and the Sam Spiegel Film School. This new partnership between the UAE and Israel will be extremely beneficial for our burgeoning Emirati film and television community by allowing our talented content creators to broaden their landscapes and develop skills from diverse expertise."

Lisa Shiloach-Uzrad, executive director of IFF, added: "The art of film is a universal language which can serve as a bridge between cultures and people. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for collaboration through which we can learn, create and become closer to our neighbours in the Middle East. I am sure we will find many ways to work together on a creative and professional level to the great benefit of both sides."

Dana Blankstein Cohen, executive director of JSFS, said: "We are excited by this historic cooperation between our countries and believe in the power of film and television education to promote creative exchange between our future generations of cultural innovators."
In addition to training and development programmes, Emirati filmmakers will have representation at the International Film Lab for the first time ever, with one UAE director invited to participate as a jury at the upcoming 2021 edition of the high-profile annual Film Lab competition.

The agreement also specified plans for a regional film festival, which will rotate annually between Abu Dhabi and Israel and will showcase Emirati and Israeli productions and co-productions.

Future objectives of the partnership will be announced soon and will include a bilateral film co-production agreement to facilitate and encourage co-production between the film industries of Abu Dhabi and Israel. 



Staff Reporter

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