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Festival About DIFF Policies Connect
Dubai Film Market The Writers' Room
The Writers' Room
The Writers' Room is an initiative devised by the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in collaboration with the British Film Institute, and the British Council. It is a forum for writers and key creative film professionals from the UK and Arab world to meet, exchange ideas, experiences and professional practice with a view to producing stronger projects, which could appeal to audiences in both the Arab region, the UK and beyond.

The aim of the Writers Room is to enable the writing participants to deepen their appreciation of the creative development process, be inspired, extend their network and stimulate greater cultural understanding. This will be achieved through script workshops, a masterclass, and meetings with the Arab and UK film representatives focusing on the content and audience potential of the projects.


A total of 6 writers have been invited to the Festival -3 from the UK and 3 from the Arab world. The writers will work as a group with two professional script editors who will lead feedback sessions and attend a schedule of individual meetings with key UK and Arab film professionals – emphasis is on the content of the project, the story and audience potential rather than finding the finance or partners.

The programme also includes a day dedicated to the Best of British in the Forum programme featuring a screenwriting Masterclass, a networking session followed by a Happy Hour reception sponsored by the British Council. All participants will be given full Festival accreditation providing full access to screenings, and the Dubai Film Market.

7 writers and 6 projects selected for the Writers’ Room

  • Doris Domestic – Amal Al Agroobi
  • Farha – Darin Sallam
  • The Bridge – Hala Lotfy
  • Heaven is Dark – Joseph Bull and Luke Seomore
  • Dress Circle – Omar El Khairy
  • The Station – Sara Ishaq

UK Professionals participating:

  • Ludwik Smolski, script editor/tutor
  • Robbie Allen, Snr Screen Executive, Creative Scotland
  • Eve Gabereau, Managing Director, Modern Films
  • Rachel Robey, Film Advisor, British Council
  • Isabel Davis, Head of International British Film Institute
  • Samm Haillay, Producer, Third Films
  • Cate Kane, Head of Acquisitions, Artificial Eye

Arab Professionals participating:

  • Ghassan Salhab, Script editor, film director
  • Georges Schoucair- CEO & Producer, About Productions
  • Sabine Sidawi, Producer, Orjouane Films
  • Jessica Khoury, Distributor, Film Clinic
  • Lamia Chraibi, Producer, La Prod
  • Mohamed Hefzy, General Manager, Film Clinic
  • Anne Marie Jacir, film director, Philistine Films

The Writers Room is supported by:
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