DIFF signs partnership agreement with Royal Film Commission in Jordan to promote filmmaking links

Tue Dec 15,2009

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Royal Film Commission-Jordan (RFC) signed a partnership agreement to promote filmmaking links between the two organizations.

The first collaboration involves inviting four screenwriter graduates from the Rawi – The Middle East Screenwriters Lab, a programme of the Royal Film Commission-Jordan done in consultation with Sundance Institute – to attend DIFF during the Dubai Film Connection to further develop their projects further and network with industry professionals.

The quartet comprises:  Mohammad Al Hushki – Coloured Feathers (Jordan), Shady Srour – Sense of Will (Palestine), Sylvio Sharif Tabet – Children of Oedipus (Lebanon) and Sally El Hosaini – My Brother the Devil (Egypt/UK).

DIFF Managing Director Shivani Pandya said: “Both DIFF and RFC share the same goals of promoting filmmaking from the Arab world, and the partnership will further lend impetus to achieving our objectives. This partnership will further enable sharing creative ideas, and enhancing chances for infrastructure and financial support, and is one of the many alliances we would like to form.\”

George David, General Manager of the RFC, expressed his optimism, saying that such an agreement is “one step further towards a much needed regional integration in the film world.”

“Although we are only signing this agreement today, we have already collaborated with the DIFF in the past,” said Mohannad Bakri, RFC’s Capacity Building Manager.

He added that a number of filmmakers have joined programs both at the RFC (Rawi Screenwriters Lab) and Dubai Film Connection, such as Cherien Dabis with Amreeka (Rawi alumni 2005 and DFC Work in Progress 2008); Mohamed Al Daradji with Son of Babylon (Rawi Alumni 2006 and DFC 2007); Selma Bargach with The Fifth String (Rawi Alumni 2008 and DFC 2008).

The RFC was established with a vision to develop an internationally competitive Jordanian film industry, and there are clear signs that it is achieving its aims. In addition, Jordan is attracting an increasing number of international productions.    DIFF 2009, which runs until December 16, has screened more than 160 films this week. DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

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