In its second cycle this year, SANAD, the development and post-production fund of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, has announced nine projects by Arab filmmakers to be awarded grants for development or post-production.
Two out of six grantees in the post-production phase are Egyptian filmmakers: Abu Bakr Shawky, who received support for his movie Yommedine, and Aida El-Kashef for Ward No 3.
Other grantees from Arab countries include: Thala My Love (Tunisia) directed by Mehdi Hmili; The Flag (Palestine) directed by Firas Khoury; Joint Procession (Morroco, France) directed by Leila Kilani; and Folktales of Palestine (Lebanon) directed by Dahna Abourahme.
Each development grantee receives up to $20,000 in funding.
SANAD also announced three projects receiving post-production grants in the second cycle: A Maid For Leach (Lebanon, France, Norway, UAE) directed by Maher Abi Samra, which received development funding in 2012; Queens of Syria (Lebanon, Jordan, UAE) directed by Yasmin Fedda; and Sounds of the Sea (UAE) directed by Nujoom Al-Ghanem.
Each post-production grantee receives up to $60,000 in funding.
Now, in its fifth year, SANAD is an integral part of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and is committed to offering support to projects that demonstrate remarkable talent and promise, from both new and established Arab filmmakers. The initiative offers a total of $500,000 in grants each year to Arab filmmakers and to date has funded more than 100 projects.
Abu Dhabi Film Festival is set to take place from 23 October to 1 November. This year, the line-up includes 197 films from 61 countries, including nine feature film world premieres and 48 short film world premieres. Three Egyptian films — El Ott (The Cat, 2014) directed by Ibrahim El-Batout and starring Amr Waked; Um Ghayeb (Mother of the Unborn, 2014) directed by Nadine Salib; and I Exist (2014) directed by Ahmed Abdel-Naser — will take part in three competitive sections of the festival.
The festival's opening film, From A to B by Emirati director Ali Mostafa, is based on a screenplay written by Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy.