Three projects helped into production
The Dubai Intl. Film Fest is helping connect the Arab film biz.Three projects from the fest’s Dubai Film Connection co-production market, launched last year to help support Arab filmmakers find international partners, are going into production, Dubai execs announced at Cannes. Cherien Dabies’ “Amreeka” is in pre-production and will start lensing in June. First Generation Film’s Christina Piovesan is producing with Al-Zain Al-Sabah from Kuwaiti shingle Eagle Vision Media Group. Showtime Arabia is co-funding the pic. Lensing has already started on Simon El Habre’s “One Man Village,” about reconciliation in Lebanon in the wake of that country’s seemingly intractable political disputes. Jad Abi Khalil and Irit Neihardt from MEC Films are producing. Sameh Zoabi’s “Man Without a Cellphone” is also in pre-production with lensing set to begin in the coming weeks. Lama Films’ Amir Harel and Black Forest Films’ Christoph Hahnheiser are producing with Meroe Films’ Marie Gutmann. All three pics received development coin from Dubai’s inaugural Film Connection market last December. A further feature, Raed Andoni’s “Fix Me,” which received a special award from Arte France Cinema during last year’s fest, is also set to start lensing this summer. Palmyre Badinier is producing. Dubai Film Connection, which unspools Dec. 13-17 this year, is upping its cash prizes this year from $15,000 to $25,000 for each of the three winning projects. The call for submissions for the co-production market have now opened.