Abu Dhabi Film Festival announces 2014 Sanad grant recipients

ADFF 2014 grant winners announced
Scenes from My Sweet Pepper Land, which showed at both Cannes and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, ADFF, 2013. Courtesy ADFF
Scenes from My Sweet Pepper Land, which showed at both Cannes and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, ADFF, 2013. Courtesy ADFF

Sanad, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s (ADFF) film-funding grant, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a clutch of new grants for the development and post production of a new batch of films from across the Arab world.

Projects receiving post-production grants are Cat, directed by Ibrahim El Batout; The Valley, directed by Ghassan Salhab; The Wanted 18, directed by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan; Um Ghayeb, directed by Nadine Salib; and Pirates of Salé, directed by Merieme Addou and Rosa Rogers.

Successful recipients of development grants include Money Babe, directed by Hiner Saleem, who was previously awarded both a Sanad Development Grant in 2012 and Post-Production Grant in 2013 for his film My Sweet Pepper Land.

Another Sanad returnee is the producer Dora Bouchoucha – previously awarded a Sanad Development grant in 2010 for the film Foreign Body – which was directed by Raja Amari, and a Post-Production Grant in 2012 for the film Cursed by The Phosphate, directed by Sami Tlili, and won Best Film from The Arab World at ADFF’s Documentary Film Competition. His new film Hedi receives funding, and is directed by Mohammed Ben Attia.

“Sanad seeks out bold, remarkable projects with the aim of encouraging intercultural dialogue and artistic innovation, while building strong networks within the region,” said Ali Al Jabri, the ADFF director. “Sanad also offers continuing support and publicity for selected projects to connect filmmakers to potential partners, funding opportunities and audiences.”

Al Jabri added: “Sanad has enabled the production of original films that might not have made it past the concept stage without support, and supported filmmakers who have gone on to build successful careers in the industry. The fund has fuelled creative talent and supplemented twofour54’s work in developing a major media hub in Abu Dhabi and the region.”

ADFF has funded more than 100 film projects as part of its mission to drive the emergence of a filmmaking hub in the UAE and the Arab World, and one former Sanad recipient, 2012’s Sun Dress by Saeed Salmeen, is set to launch in cinemas across the UAE on Thursday, May 22. Other Sanad-supported films have featured at several international film festivals and received numerous awards and accolades. Some of these films have been in competition at Cannes, which is currently taking place for 2014, including Yousry Nasrallah’s After the Battle, My Sweet Pepper Land by Hiner Saleem, and On the Edge by Leila Kilani.

Both established and upcoming filmmakers with challenging and innovative projects applied for the grant. Sanad provides financial advice and technical guidance and encourages the successful applicant’s participation in festivals around the world. The successful projects this year were from Palestine, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Sanad offers Arab projects up to US$20,000 for development and up to $60,000 for post-production.

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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