Related News

  1. Dubai Talent: Afia Nathaniel
    Debut director on Dukhtar and cinema in Pakistan
  2. Dubai Talent: Asha Bhosle
    Indian playback singer on seven decades of film music
  3. Dubai opens with Theory of Everything
    Festival makes regional cinema its key focus
  4. Dubai IFF cancels AsiaAfrica competition
    Festival enters second decade without key focus
  5. Dubai festival fixes 2014 dates
    Surveys demonstrate overwhelming attendee satisfaction
  6. Thuy and South Korea's relationship to SE Asia
    Dubai: Kim Jae-han and Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc
  7. Shivani Pandya on Dubai's next ten years
    Managing director reflects on DIFF's first decade
  8. Lee Sang-il on the limits of Japanese cinema
    Unforgiven director on Japan's new conservatism
  9. Ilo Ilo wins Best Film in Dubai
    Golden Horse winners repeat success in UAE
  10. Ritesh Batra on preparing his Lunchbox
    The role of shorts, project markets and place
  11. Tsai Ming-liang on being a stray in Taiwan
    He only wants money, freedom and Lee Kang-sheng
  12. Japanese documentaries after Fukushima
    Cool Japan, state secrets and misplaced festivals
  13. Farooki on fibbing, fantasy and box office
    Bangladeshi film-maker presents Ant Story in Dubai
  14. Ant Story premieres in AsiaAfrica competition
    Ilo Ilo, Stray Dogs, Lunchbox compete in Dubai
  15. Dubai announces first Asian titles
    Commercial films from China, Philippines, Japan
  16. Dubai to host Cinematic Innovation Summit
    Annual event to focus on technical innovation in media
  17. Staying independent in the Philippines
    Dubai Talent: Mendoza on indie film-making and his upcoming genre film
  18. The future of Japanese cinema
    Dubai Talent: Japanese producers on Miike, Sono and the next generation
  19. Miike on process, violence and Tarantino
    Japanese director gives Lessons of the Evil in Dubai
  20. Dubai foregrounds Asian directors
    Films from Lee, Blair and Feng take key slots
  21. South Asian indies to compete in Dubai
    Films from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India join AsiaAfrica competition
  22. Dubai announces first AsiaAfrica titles
    Documentary on North Korean cinema to compete
  23. Dubai fest plans innovation summit
    Conference focus on story, tech transfer
  24. Eurimages envisages Mid East expansion
    Dubai meeting to encourage finance body
  25. Tatsumi and Woodsman share AsiaAfrica prizes
    Japanese documentaries also recognised in Dubai
  26. The business of Japanese documentaries
    Dubai talent focus: Ide Yoko and Sunada Mami
  27. Dubai dishes out distribution dollars
    Festival adds market support measures
  28. Women on top at DFC awards
    Dubai project market provides cash and kudos
  29. The battle after Seediq Bale
    Dubai talent focus: Wei Te-sheng Q&A
  30. Rahman celebrated in Dubai
    Lifetime achievement award for world cinema composer
  31. Dubai opens under Cruise control
    Strong lineup of Indian cinema and Bollywood stars
  32. Seven up for Dubai sidebar
    AsiaAfrica section includes Oscar hopefuls

Dubai makes speedy Connection


Dubai makes speedy Connection

By Patrick Frater

Mon, 12 December 2011, 17:08 PM (HKT)


Industry News

Five years after its establishment, the Dubai Film Connection is able to point to structural improvements in Arab film-making says its director Jane WILLIAMS.

And she contends that the results have more to do with structure, organisation of ideas and international exposure than simple cash.

The DFC operates in a fashion somewhere between a festival project market and a regional funding body, inviting feature and documentary makers to submit projects that may be presented during the Dubai International Film Festival's market. These are carefully scrutinised, with roughly one in nine making it as far as the Dubai Film Market.

There they are not only presented to potential financiers and co-producers over a three day period, but receive mentoring and can earn a range of prizes that are intended for further development or pre-production.

Williams says that of the 64 projects selected in the DFC's first four years, 19 have been completed and a further 12 are now in production or post-production. That is a high conversion rate and is matched by an average turn around period of two years.

"We are not a fund. How people use the money is their call," says Williams and cites the example of an ingenious documentarian who used the development cash for production and returned to the festival the following year with a completed film.

"What is happening is that there is an evolution. Quality is increasing. People are learning that putting their ideas in an organised fashion can lead them to get funding. In that respect we are a gateway," she says. "An important factor [helping to raise quality] is that projects must be submitted with a producer attached. And people are understanding that being a producer is a profession."

While Williams says that some of the growing film-making confidence in the region comes from the availability of money from the trio of well-funded festivals – Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi – she suggests that improvements have more to do with structure and scrutiny than the quantity of cash.

ImageNation and the Abu Dhabi festival's film fund operated on too large a scale, she argues, and a significant proportion of the finance flowed straight out to Hollywood. "Some of the people were not interested or knowledgeable in local cinema. But that changed when it scaled down and focused on local cinema.

"People from developed industries elsewhere are incredibly critical of this region. But [Emirati cinema] is new. Mistakes must be made. That's why the DFC was set up. And we said it would not take a lot of money to turn around."

"We don't fully fund projects. What we do is find out if there is regional or international interest in a project. If you fully finance there is no test."


Sign up with your email address for our free weekly newsletter: