Finance event added to Mideast fest

MEIFF organizers unveil plans for conference

TORONTO — Organizers at Abu Dhabi’s inaugural Middle East Intl. Film Festival, set to unspool Oct. 14-19, unveiled plans for their ambitious Film Financing Conference. The conference will take place during MEIFF between Oct. 15-17.

A number of film execs from around the world have confirmed their participation at the event, including BBC Films topper David Thompson, Summit Entertainment’s chief operating officer Robert Hayward and the Bank of Ireland’s senior VP and manager of film finance Anthony Beaudoin. Other attendees will include ICM tenpercenter Hal Sadoff, Hyde Park Entertainment’s chief exec Ashok Amritraj, Eden Rock Media prexy Thomas Augsberger and Recorded Picture Co. chief exec Peter Watson.

Fest organizers are hoping the three-day event will become a film financing summit for the global film biz. “Since the conception of the festival, I have wanted to offer an arena where global financiers, executives and filmmakers could meet and collaborate on film funds and co-productions,” said exec director Nashwa Al-Ruwaini.

The Financing Circle is being headed by Adrienne Briggs. Among the events taking place will be panel discussions and roundtables, as well as a pitch program dubbed the InCircle Pearl, whereby six projects will be chosen for mentoring and the development of a marketing and finance strategy. The event will culminate with the announcement of the winner of the InCircle Pearl grant and details about the newly-established Abu Dhabi Film Fund.

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