Iraqi filmmakers were the big winners among this year’s Enjaaz production fund recipients, with four out of the seven short films, picked by the Dubai Film Market (DFM)-administered fund, from Iraq.
Kamiran Betasi (A Long Night), Haider Rashid (The Deep), Omar Khalifa (The Bad Hunter) and Aieas Jehad (Bicycle) are the successful Iraqi applicants, with the list completed by Hussain AlMutlaq (Bus 321) and Mohamed Al Saber (Who Killed Sarah) of Saudi Arabia and Saleh Nass (Souq Al Markazi) from Bahrain.
Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, the publisher and owner of The National, also partners with DFM to offer production support for the selected films and Enjaaz recipients are considered for DIFF and the Gulf Film Festival each year, with the possibility of Oscar consideration if they win the Muhr Arab Shorts competition at DIFF.
Enjaaz has operated since 2009 and offers post-production funding to feature films as well as production funding to shorts. Among the best-known films to have benefited from Enjaaz are this year’s Oscar-nominated Omar and the Bafta-nominated Wadjda.
Among the filmmakers, Khalifa and Rashid have had success with their Enjaaz-supported films Baghdad Messi and It's About to Rain, respectively.