The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) is pleased to announce the selection of 22 Cinema projects to receive $380,000 in total grants from its 2015 Cinema General Grants program.
The 2015 Cinema jurors committee included experts from different backgrounds and nationalities: Ikbal Zalila, the Tunisian critic and academic, Danielle Arbid, the Lebanese filmmaker, and Khalid Abdalla, Egyptian producer and actor.
After a series of comprehensive discussions in the AFAC offices in Beirut, the jury selected 22 projects (6 in Development, 12 in Production and 4 in Post-Production stages) to receive the Cinema grants. The winning projects were selected from a total of 330 Cinema applications.
Commenting on the selection process and winning projects, the jury issued the following statement:
“The region is in turmoil and its filmmakers are in the throes of a powerful response. Taken together, the shortlist of 88 applications we received was an immensely moving and dramatic statement on the situation of the region, politically and in cinema. The sheer volume of applications and breadth of styles – radical and accessible in different ways - allowed us to keep diversity in our selection while maintaining geographical distribution and not compromising our beliefs in the importance of quality and taking risks. We prioritized films going in to production because we recognize a severe lack of opportunities for production grants for Arab films, particularly in fiction. Urgency of funding was also a consideration. First and second films were predominant, though set alongside more established voices. Taking decisions was not easy and we did our utmost to be thorough in discussing each project. There were many films that we urge to reapply. Even so, we believe more funding for Arab cinema needs to be made available, to be able to increase the amounts granted substantially. The quality of work deserves it, and this was also evident in the volume of previous films we had the privilege to see, unfortunately a rare experience amidst the current state of distribution. But despite every difficulty they are confronted with, we saw in the many films and filmmakers who applied a formidable ability to face adversity with depth and creative force – and from them all we humbly draw some hope.”
The next Cinema call for submissions opens in May 1st, 2016
To view the 2015 Cinema winning projects, click here