Prominent Egyptian arthouse shingle New Century Production is launching a new cash prize for budding Arab filmmakers to be given in tandem with the upcoming Dubai fest’s Dubai Film Connection co-production mart.
The New Century Filmmaker Award nod will go to one of sixteen selected film projects by first-timers from across nine Arab states. It is worth $10,000, but the actual value is clearly greater, given its visibility and the networking avenues it can open up.
Dubai Film Connection topper Jane Williams in a statement reiterated the DFC’s aim to “raise the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulate the growth of film production originating from the Arab world.” She said the DFC looks forward to working with New Century Production during the fest’s upcoming 10th edition and in coming years.
DFC has been running on the sidelines of the Dubai fest since 2007. Dubai is the only film festival in the Arab world with a bona-fide film market.
Set up in 2004, New Century Production is a production arm of Egypt’s Dollar Film, the Arab world’s oldest filmmaking company, which was established in 1949, but mainly specializes in film distribution. The fact they are launching this prize signals that the Egyptian film industry is in active mode despite turmoil in the country.
New Century titles that have attained success both on the fest circuit and at the box office include Amr Salama’s AIDS drama “Asmaa,” Mohamed Diab’s “Cairo 678,” about sexual harassment of women in Egypt, and Yousry Nasrallah’s Arab Spring-themed “After the Battle.”
The Dubai Film Connection will run Dec. 8-12. The 10th edition of the Dubai fest will run Dec 6-14.