In its 5th anniversary year, SANAD, the Development and Post-Production Fund of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), has announced the second cycle of grant recipients for 2014, which include nine projects by Arab filmmakers.
The SANAD fund is an integral part of ADFF's support for Arab filmmaking and awards a total of US$ 500,000 in grants each year to Arab filmmakers during either the development or post-production phase of their film projects. Each post-production grantee can receive up to $60,000 of funding, while development grantees can receive up to $20,000 of funding. To date, the initiative has funded more than 100 projects as part of its mission to drive the development of a filmmaking hub in the UAE and wider Arab region.
Ali Al Jabri, Director of ADFF, said: "Our commitment towards supporting filmmakers from the region continues through SANAD's funds and services that take great projects a step further towards establishing their presence in festivals around the world. We are confident that this year's grantees are on par with international standards and they represent Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. Many films supported by SANAD have been recognised by leading international film festivals and have won prestigious awards globally." Three projects receiving post-production grants in the second cycle are A MAID FOR EACH (Lebanon, France, Norway, UAE) directed by Maher Abi Samra which has received development funding in 2012, QUEENS OF SYRIA (Lebanon, Jordan, UAE) directed by Yasmin Fedda; and SOUNDS OF THE SEA (UAE) directed by Nujoom Al Ghanem, which also received development funding in 2013 and is part of the ADFF documentary competition along with QUEENS OF SYRIA.
Six projects receiving development grants are THALA MY LOVE (Tunisia) directed by Mehdi Hmili, YOMEDDINE (Egypt) directed by Abu Bakr Shawky, THE FLAG (Palestine) directed by Firas Khoury, JOINT POSSESSION (Morocco, France) directed by Leila Kilani, WARD NO. 3 (Egypt) directed by Aida Elkashef, and FOLKTALE OF PALESTINE (Lebanon) directed by Dahna Abourahme.
Grantees in the development and post-production phases will have the opportunity to participate in the second annual SANAD Co-production Meetings where they will have pitching and networking opportunities with key industry players. SANAD Co-production Meetings are designed by ADFF to promote co-productions and beneficial partnerships between chosen SANAD grantees and producers, sales agents, distributors, film funds and other industry sectors.
Al Jabri commented: "We are pleased to witness increased participation this year from key industry professionals at our SANAD Co-production Meetings that open the door for MENA filmmakers to connect with international and regional professionals and broaden their horizons. We look forward to screening grant-winning films following this announcement to showcase the region's world-class creativity." SANAD is committed to choosing projects that demonstrate remarkable talent and promise from both new and established Arab filmmakers. In addition to financial support, SANAD also offers year-round support and publicity for selected projects to help connect filmmakers to potential partners, funding opportunities and audiences internationally.