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Watani hopes to finance UAE’s first Oscar nomination through funding scheme

Funding is toughest part for film makers

New partnership between Watani and Gulf Film Festival to help finance local cinematic projects.

April 16, 2013 4:40 by

One of the toughest obstacles any film maker will face concerns finances.

Which is why the latest initiative from Watani is bound to be well received by local film makers. Earlier today Filmi, part of Watani, announced a partnership with The Gulf Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival to bring projects selected through Enjaaz.

To be launched on May 1st, the program aims to support Emirati film makers to not only produce short films and feature length films and documentaries, but also to take these films to film festivals around the world.

Filmi has allocated a dedicated fund of Dh1 million to support a minimum of four Emirati projects for both production and post production for two Enjaaz cycles. The body will select two features, fiction or documentary.

“I believe in this story and in this project. I believe that the UAE needs this project now. If we even get an Oscar nomination, it will be an achievement. At Watani we have already signed our first project with an animated film called Flag Mother, which will honour a UAE national hero” said Watani Director General, His Excellency Dherar Belhoul.

So how much exactly will Watani be allocating for the fund? While the estimated amount is Dh1 million for two Enjaaz cycles, Belhoul said: “We want to help film makers. When we add up all of the other benefits we aim to give, it will be more than the figure we talked about. Let us see; what we can we will help the local film makers.”

Financing has been a key topic of the Gulf Film Festival. Earlier this week, the festival hosted a session on crowd funding with Aflamnah co-founder Vida Rizq. Aflamnah is the first crowdfunding website dedicated to the Arab World and since its launch in July 2012 it has supported more than 30 projects, including films, magazines, and art buses.

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