Series of seminars at Abu Dhabi Film Festival offer invaluable movie industry insights and advice

ABU DHABI // Filmmakers and students will be able to peek behind the scenes of the movie industry and pick up insider tips during a series of masterclasses at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Organised by Talks Films, the seminars will offer a chance to learn from some of the industry’s leading professionals.

“An important part of our work is creating connections between local film talent and the wider industry,” said Ali Al Jabri, the festival director. “The festival helps filmmakers develop their projects by introducing them to key players in the industry.”

He said the masterclass programme would help the local film industry to grow, thanks to visiting producers, sales agents, distributors and marketing executives.

A panel with representatives of film funds will be the focus of the first seminar, Show Me The Money, which will take place on October 25 and discuss financing opportunities for Arab filmmakers.

In Conversation With Daniel Schechter, being held the same day, offers film fans a chance to hear the director of the festival’s opening film, Life of Crime, talk about his career and working with A-list actors such as Jennifer Aniston and Tim Robbins.

The following day, a panel discussion called Location, Location, Location will focus on the benefits of filming in the region.

Also on October 26, In Conversation With Ashok Amritraj will reveal how a boy from Chennai, India, became one of Hollywood’s most successful producers, making more than 100 films.

India will take centre stage on October 27 with a discussion on 100 years of Indian Cinema: Studying the Past to Define the Future.

The focus the following day will be on emerging talent, with the Aflamnah workshop on film funding in the region.

Of particular interest to new filmmakers will be Jump Cut, a masterclass on making the transition from short films to features. It will be presented by Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed the recently released Short Term 12, a film about neglected and troubled youth.

Successful women filmmakers will speak on the same day about making it to the top of the industry. The discussions will be led by the Palestinian actress and director, Hiam Abass, in a talk titled Heroines of the Silver Screen.

Diaspora and the Renaissance of Iraqi Cinema will consider the contribution of expatriate Iraqis.

On October 29, filmmaker Catherine Dussart, who produced The Missing Picture, a documentary about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, will guide film enthusiasts through the production process in So You Want to be a Producer?

The masterclass programme will close with Cinematic Debuts, a discussion about films that launched well-known Arab filmmakers.

The ADFF masterclasses are free and will take place at the Emirates Palace Ballroom.

The film festival is being organised by twofour54 with the aim of promoting a movie culture in the region.

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