Sanad attracts record funding applicants for 2015

Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat in Theeb. Photo by Laith Al-Majali
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Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 has received record submissions for the now-closed 2015 round of SANAD funding, with a total of 178 projects.

This year, 101 projects were submitted for development funding while 77 were received for post-production. Nearly half of the submissions were first feature projects - 87 projects in total compared to 51 in 2014, an indication of the growing interest of Arabs in the filmmaking industry.

Grantees will receive up to 20,000 USD per project in the development category, and up to 60,000 USD per project in the post-production category, from the total SANAD fund of 500,000 USD.

SANAD director Ali Al Jabri said: “Our support for Arab film production and Arab filmmakers through the SANAD fund provides new and established filmmakers with capital to develop or complete their feature-length narrative and documentary projects. The increase in projects submitted is testament to both the love of film in the Arab world and SANAD’s growing reputation as a popular initiative that supports filmmakers in the region. We have received a remarkable collection of submissions and we look forward to the new influx of quality Arabic cinema from the next group of grantees.”

SANAD funded films have received international recognition by winning awards and accolades at a number of renowned international film festivals throughout the years. In 2014 SANAD projects such as Samir's Iraqi Odyssey (2014), Naji Abu Nowar's Theeb (2014) and Ghassan Salhab's The Valley (2014) were showcased at international film festivals such as Venice, Toronto and Berlin while Cannes and Busan have showcased SANAD films like Hiner Saleem's My Sweet Pepper Land (2013); Safinez Bousbia's El Gusto (2011). Nadine Salib's Um Ghayeb (2014) won the First Appearance Award at IDFA (International Documentary FilmFestival Amsterdam) and Mahdi Fleifel's A World Not Ours (2013) received the Best Film Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.