Handout production still from the movie Amreeka, Nisreen Faour and Hiam Abbass in frame. The film is  a co-production with Imagnation Abu Dhabi. Courtesy National Geographic Entertainment/Rotana *** Local Caption ***  Nisreen Faour and Hiam Abbass in AMREEKA.jpg
Nisreen Faour, left, and Hiam Abbass in Amreeka, a film co-produced by Imagenation of Abu Dhabi.

Cash infusion for Arab filmmakers

ABU DHABI // Arab filmmaking received a major funding infusion this week, courtesy of the UAE. The cash available for distribution includes a US$500,000 (Dh136,132) fund announced by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), and another $120,000 from Dubai Film Connection, the co-production arm of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

The cash can help in a variety of facets of filmmaking, including script development, post-production, hiring established directors and sales and marketing. ADFF launched its new fund, dubbed Sanad, this week at the Cannes International Film Festival. Peter Scarlet, the executive director of the Abu Dhabi festival, said it would help create a "vibrant and viable" cinema scene in the Middle East. "Sanad is a way in which the festival can support the region's filmmakers in developing their own voices and taking their place in the international film community," he said.

Sanad will fund story development and post-production for feature-length narratives and documentaries, the most "concrete" need in the Arab world, he said. "There's an amazing amount of untapped creative potential in the region and these grants are an important building block," he said. With post-production grants of up to $60,000 and development funds up to $20,000, Sanad could address the problem of money lost by film-makers who take underdeveloped scripts into production without polishing them, he said.

"Putting them through a development project under the careful eye of professionals will help that," he said. The submission panel, headed by Marie-Pierre Macia, an Algerian filmmaker and former curator of international films for the San Francisco International Film Festival, began accepting submissions last month. Eissa al Mazrouei, the festival's project director, said five scripts arrived in the first two weeks.

"The feedback has been phenomenal," he said. "In terms of filmmaking, the Arab world is fertile ground and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is at the forefront of nurturing the region's film culture." Also this week, the Dubai festival announced a $10,000 boost to its annual co-production funding programme for Arab cinema, Dubai Film Connection (DFC), bringing the grant money available to $120,000. Now in its fourth year, the DFC offers prize money but also acts as a networking platform for newcomers to meet directors and experts in film distribution and sales.

Among the films DFC helped to fund are City of Life, the Emirati feature film about Dubai which completes its fourth week at UAE box offices tomorrow, and Amreeka, the light-hearted story of a Palestinian immigrant family which screened at last year's Sundance Film Festival and won the International Federation of Film Critics prize at Cannes. "One of the founding objectives of DIFF has been to encourage regional filmmaking talent, not only through creative support but financial and production assistance and know-how," said Shivani Pandya, the managing director of DIFF. "DFC has successfully accomplished this goal, and has drawn the interest of film-makers of Arab origin globally to Dubai."

Jac Mulder, a film director who has been based in the UAE for 11 years and was a recent winner of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission's short film competition, Aflaam Qaseera, said the funding from both emirates would encourage outside investors. "The sooner people start to invest in the industry then the sooner the whole cycle will begin to develop," he said. Mr Mulder said it was important to recognise the long-term economic benefits of investing in films.

"A lot of people have lost money by investing in real estate over the past couple of years and they are looking for alternative avenues. "If a film is done well it will make a director money for the rest of his life, but at the moment there are no examples of big films from the region. Funds like this will help to lead the way. The potential of making money in filmmaking in this region is enormous because of the number of people and nationalities living here. Plus, the whole world is fascinated with the Middle East at the moment. There is so much untapped history and untold stories here that it makes for a whole new flavour of storytelling.

"If someone is willing to back them and to do them properly then it will benefit the whole region." @Email:aseaman@thenational.ae

Terminator: Dark Fate

Director: Tim Miller

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis 

Rating: 3/5


Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A17 Pro, 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 17

Main camera: Triple: 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP 5x telephoto (f/2.8); 5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 10x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 25x; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 60fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4441mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min (with at least 20W adaptor); MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay), second-generation Ultra Wideband chip

Biometrics: Face ID


Durability: IP68, water-resistant up to 6m up to 30min; dust/splash-resistant

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Black titanium, blue titanium, natural titanium, white titanium

In the box: iPhone 15 Pro Max, USB-C-to-USB-C woven cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799


Best Men's Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski

Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Best Women's Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

Best Men's Club of the Year: Chelsea

Best Women's Club of the Year: Barcelona

Best Defender of the Year: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)

Best Coach of the Year: Roberto Mancini (Italy)

Best National Team of the Year: Italy

Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Player Career Award: Ronaldinho

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

WWE TLC results

Asuka won the SmackDown Women's title in a TLC triple threat with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair

Dean Ambrose won the Intercontinental title against Seth Rollins

Daniel Bryan retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles

Ronda Rousey retained the Raw Women's Championship against Nia Jax

Rey Mysterio beat Randy Orton in a chairs match

Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre

Natalya beat Ruby Riott in a tables match

Braun Strowman beat Baron Corbin in a TLC match

Sheamus and Cesaro retained the SmackDown Tag Titles against The Usos and New Day

R-Truth and Carmella won the Mixed Match Challenge by beating Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox


Sabri Razouk, 74

Athlete and fitness trainer 

Married, father of six

Favourite exercise: Bench press

Must-eat weekly meal: Steak with beans, carrots, broccoli, crust and corn

Power drink: A glass of yoghurt

Role model: Any good man

The specs

Engine: 3.6-litre, V6
Transmission: eight-speed auto
Power: 285hp
Torque: 353Nm
Price: Dh159,900
On sale: now

2024 Dubai Marathon Results

Women’s race:
1. Tigist Ketema (ETH) 2hrs 16min 7sec
2. Ruti Aga (ETH) 2:18:09
3. Dera Dida (ETH) 2:19:29
Men's race:
1. Addisu Gobena (ETH) 2:05:01
2. Lemi Dumicha (ETH) 2:05:20
3. DejeneMegersa (ETH) 2:05:42

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

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Director: Richie Mehta

Starring: Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, Dibyendu Bhattacharya

Rating: 3/5


Director: Youssef Chebbi

Stars: Fatma Oussaifi and Mohamed Houcine Grayaa

Rating: 4/5


Pakistan v Sri Lanka:
28 Sep-2 Oct, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi
6-10 Oct, 2nd Test (day-night), Dubai
13 Oct, 1st ODI, Dubai
16 Oct, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi
18 Oct, 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi
20 Oct, 4th ODI, Sharjah
23 Oct, 5th ODI, Sharjah
26 Oct, 1st T20I, Abu Dhabi
27 Oct, 2nd T20I, Abu Dhabi
29 Oct, 3rd T20I, Lahore

Nick's journey in numbers

Countries so far: 85

Flights: 149

Steps: 3.78 million

Calories: 220,000

Floors climbed: 2,000

Donations: GPB37,300

Prostate checks: 5

Blisters: 15

Bumps on the head: 2

Dog bites: 1

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