Abu Dhabi film Commission, Circle Conference, Abu Dhabi, David Shepheard, Dr. Hala Sarhan from Rotana Studios, Essa Saif Al-Mazrouei and HE Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Broadcastpro Middle East, Vijaya Cherian
Abu Dhabi Film Commission will host the fourth annual Circle Conference from October 13-16 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Besides the fact that several key players from the national and international media industry will be participating in the panel conferences, the Conference will also host an Education Day on October 14. More than 200 students from across the UAE have registered for the event, which will include special seminars, workshops and presentations designed to attract local students as future employees.
Speaking about the conference and its aims, Abu Dhabi film commissioner David Shepheard stated: “The Circle Conference is a central component of our mission at ADFC to build the local film and TV industry into a centre of excellence attracting the best international companies and professionals, and to make cinema and the visual arts a key part of the national culture that Abu Dhabi exports to the world.
“This year’s conference will bring together some of the global entertainment industry’s leading lights for a series of vigorous conversations about the major opportunities and challenges facing the film and television business today. Our keynote speakers, the Tunisian financier, distributor and media visionary Tarak Ben Ammar, who is also president of Quinta Communications and Ed Pressman, an American independent producer with more than 100 films to his name, come from separate ends of the film industry, but each have unique lessons to impart from his long and distinguished career. Our panels on topics like regional film industry, independent finance, sports, 3D and new distribution platforms boast some of the most important names in these fields.”
The Circle conference will place special emphasis on Jordan this year as part of a conference on Success Stories from the Middle East. It will continue to support women filmmakers as it did last year by hosting a special panel on Women in Film. As in previous years, The Circle Conference will culminate with the presentation of The Shasha Grant, ADFC’s $100,000 feature film script development grant. The Shasha competition, which accepted Arabic-language entries for the first time this year, received nearly 150 feature-length submissions from across the Middle East and other parts of the world. The six creative teams will be attending the Circle to pitch their project to a panel of international Producers and Executives. The panel will then choose one winner of this grant who will receive the $100,000 script development grant and a possible first look deal with Imagenation, Abu Dhabi.
Speaking about Abu Dhabi’s role in furthering filmmaking in the region, H.E. Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, director general of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) added: “ADACH is committed to developing the cinematic culture of Abu Dhabi. Developing storytelling through film, developing a skilled creative workforce and transforming images of our beautiful country into works of cinematic art are goals that have been set for the Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC). In the short time since it was established, ADFC has now become a key element in the film and television infrastructure of Abu Dhabi and is now established itself as a prominent organization in the global film industry.”
BroadcastPro Middle East is an official media partner with ADFC for The Circle Conference.