You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Al Massad wins Shasha Grant

Filmmaker receives $100,000 to development 'Blessed Benefit'

LONDON — The Abu Dhabi Film Commission has chosen Jordanian writer and producer Mahmoud Al Massad as the winner of its annual screenwriting competition, the Shasha Grant, worth $100,000.

The coin will be used to fund development of his project “Blessed Benefit.”

Al Massad is a graduate of the Sundance Institute, who previously won a World Cinema Award at the Sundance Film Festival for his 2008 documentary “Recycle.” His doc “This Is My Picture When I Was Dead” won best doc at the Dubai Film Festival.

“Blessed Benefit” is the story of a construction worker who is sent to prison after getting mixed up in a bad business deal. When he loses his last chance to prove his innocence, he realizes that his life in prison might be better than the one he had outside.

The Shasha Grant, which has been running for five years, is one of the biggest production prizes in the Middle East.

It is judged by leading film executives and producers from around the world. As well as giving money to develop the winning script, the ADFC works with the filmmaker to bring the project into production.

“By cultivating the next generation of Middle Eastern filmmakers and fast-tracking the development process for them, the Shasha Grant remains a vital part of our mission to promote Abu Dhabi as a center of excellence in film development and production,” said ADFC director David Shepheard.

“The richness, diversity and quality of scriptwriting represented through the Shasha finalists makes me optimistic about the presence of Arab cinema in the international scene over the coming years,” commented Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy.

More Film

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content