The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is honoring the late Jake Eberts, by naming its nod for best docu after the great Canadian producer with an activist streak, known for shepherding Oscar-winning films like “Chariots of Fire,” “The Killing Fields” and “Gandhi.”
Eberts, who died in September 2012 of a rare form of cancer at age 71, had a close rapport with the United Arab Emirates. Following a 2007 trip to Abu Dhabi he went on to play a key role in laying the groundwork for some of the key planks of the ongoing effort to make the UAE capital a media and film industry hub for the region. In particular, Eberts was instrumental in establishing a local The National Geographic channel; and in setting up Abu Dhabi’s film investment fund Image Nation and its multi-million dollar deal with Participant Films which expires this year and comprised pics such as “Contagion” and “The Help.”
In the late part of his career Eberts turned his attention to making IMAX films and documentaries and shepherded docu “Journey to Mecca,”directed by Bruce Neibur, which bowed in Abu Dhabi in 2009 with a three night gala at an IMAX theatre built especially for the occasion.
“He became a great friend of Abu Dhabi and our film industry is fortunate to have been enriched by his influence,” said Abu Dhabi Film Festival director in a statement.
The fest, which is run by Abu Dhabi media and entertainment hub twofour54, will inagurate its Jake Eberts Black Pearl Award for Best Documentary this year and also name a screening room within the hub in his honor.