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Circle Conference unveils lineup

Event runs alongside Abu Dhabi Film Festival

LONDON — The fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s Circle Conference will host a slew of industry discussions and events covering topics from 3D to development of local production.

The conference, which runs Oct. 13-15, will hold a session for regional industry reps from across the region to dissect the strategies necessary to lay out a clear roadmap for the development of the Middle Eastern film biz.

3D will also be a hot topic at the event: William Sargent, CEO of London-based post-production and SFX house Framestore, will lead a session discussing the 3D landscape, and the benefits and hurdles to be faced in both film and TV. Panelists at the event include Khalid Al Muharraqi, head of Bahrain-based 3D studio Muharraqi Studios; Vision 3 3D expert Angus Cameron; Twofour54’s Hasan Sayed Hasan; and Paramount exec producer Douglas Merrifield.

The program will also feature discussions on the need to reshape creativity and business models to meet consumer needs through mobiles and small screens, which will be led by Any Screen Productions’ prexy and co-founder Ferhan Cook.

A Women in Film panel session, which will examine what needs to be done to encourage more women to join the film biz, will also take place at the conference this year. The discussion will highlight the challenges and opportunities for Arabic women in the film industry. Panel includes Dr. Hala Sarhan, prexy of Rotana Studios; helmer-producer Vicky Jewson; Cynthia Schneider, cultural diplomat and producer; Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri; and Saudi helmer Haifaa Al Masour.

The conference is being held alongside the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which unspools Oct. 14-23.

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