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New initiative launched to support aspiring female filmmakers in the MENA region

Young female filmmakers across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt will be selected for the program

New initiative launched to support aspiring female filmmakers in the MENA region
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Netflix and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) have joined hands to create a new initiative to provide aspiring female filmmakers with training in the field. The Women in Film: Introduction to the Creative Process program will be for young female filmmakers aged between 21 and 27 who have graduated in film studies. 

The application will be open to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt women, and 45 women will be selected among the applicants to participate in workshops over three days in Dubai, Jeddah, and Cairo.

To begin in November, participants will have the opportunity to gain new skills in scriptwriting and the creative process of filmmaking through well-established regional female directors. Further, the candidates can travel to a Netflix European production hub early next year. 

“Throughout our 16 years in operation, we have been committed to supporting bold creative voices of women and men artists, who are trying to push boundaries and challenge status-quos,” said Rima Mismar, executive director at AFAC.

“In film specifically, 44% of supported films to date are by women filmmakers. Through this renewed partnership with Netflix, we build on that commitment, extending our technical support to emerging women talents and allowing for a deeper understanding of the inequities and inequalities that women are subjected to in the film industry.”

The new partnership comes after Netflix and AFAC’s Because She Created program last year – a $250,000 grant for regional female producers and directors.

Applications will be open between August 17 and September 8 on AFAC’s website. Once reviewed, the successful candidates will be notified on October 17.

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