New name for Middle East fest

Festival now Abu Dhabi Film fest, launches new fund

In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers.

The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 and post-production grants of up to $60,000 for features and docs by filmmakers from the Arab world. Applications for the fund are open until July 15.

“There’s an amazing amount of untapped and unrecognized creative potential in the Arab world and these grants are an important building block in the creation of a vibrant and viable cinema here, especially since they come with the kind of international opportunities and support we can offer,” said fest topper Peter Scarlet.

The Middle East Film Festival, held each October, was launched in 2007, two years after the launch of the Dubai Film Festival, with the aim of creating a vibrant film culture throughout the region.

In the years since, Abu Dhabi has aggressively moved into other forms of media and entertainment, launching is own media zone, twofour54, which has become the regional hub for CNN, Comedy Central and Cartoon Network, while its state-owned media company’s $1 billion film fund, Imagenation Abu Dhabi, has tied up with Hollywood players Participant, Hyde Park and National Geographic.

“It’s common practice for major international film festivals to name themselves after the town in which their principal screenings take place,” Scarlet said. “We’re happy and proud to be based in Abu Dhabi, so why not say so?”

More Film

  • Claire Foy'The Girl in the Spiders

    Claire Foy Previews Intense 'Girl in the Spider's Web' at CinemaCon

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

  • Anthony Mackie, Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz

    'Miss Bala,' Animated Spider-Man Show Sony's Commitment to Diverse Heroes

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

  • New 'Venom' Trailer: Tom Hardy Debuts

    Tom Hardy Debuts New 'Venom' Trailer at CinemaCon (Watch)

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino'Once Upon

    Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio Tease 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    'Jumanji' Sequel to Release in December 2019

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

  • Cargo

    Tribeca Film Review: ‘Cargo’

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

  • Visitors laugh as they attend a

    Saudi Arabia Movie Ticket Prices Could Hit $35, AMC Chief Says

    In a move that indicates Abu Dhabi’s rising prominence as a global media and entertainment brand, the Middle East Film Festival has been renamed the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and launched a $500,000 fund for Arab filmmakers. The fund, dubbed Sanad, after the Arabic word for support, will provide development grants of up to $20,000 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content