A record number of 178 film projects were received by twofour54 for the 2015 session of Sanad, the Abu Dhabi initiative offering film grants to Arab filmmakers.
With the submission session now closed, Sanad's committee members will start meeting to select the stand out entries in two categories, development (film ideas) and post-production (films already shot, awaiting editing).
The grantees will be announced in September. "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," said Ali Al Jabri, director of Sanad.
Grantees will receive up to $20,000 per project in the development category, and up to $60,000 per project in the post-production category, from the total Sanad fund of $500,000.
This year, 101 projects were submitted for development funding while 77 were received for post-production. Notably, nearly half of the total 178 submissions were first feature projects in the 2015 session, 87 projects in total compared to 51 in 2014, an indication of the growing interest of Arabs in the filmmaking industry.
"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," mentioned Al Jabri.
"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," he added.
In 2014 Sanad projects such as Samir's "Iraqi Odyssey", Naji Abu Nowar's "Theeb" and Ghassan Salhab's "The Valley" were showcased at international film festivals including Venice, Toronto and Berlin.
Nadine Salib's "Um Ghayeb" (2014) won the First Appearance Award at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and Mahdi Fleifel's "A World Not Ours" (2013) received the Best Film Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Source: Khaleej Times