Five projects have been shortlisted, spearheaded by women from Tunisia, Lebanon and Morocco.
Netflix and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) have partnered to offer a one-time grant to five Arab female filmmakers and producers as part of the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity aimed at enabling the awardees to bring their fiction and non-fiction projects to fruition.
Launched in early 2021, Netflix Fund for Creative Equity aims to help create new opportunities for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry. The Netflix Fund for Creative Equity in the Arab world, valued at $250,000, will provide financial support to women filmmakers in the Arab world.
Speaking about the fund, Nuha El Tayeb, Director of Content Acquisitions, Middle East, and Turkey – Netflix, said: “The Arab world has a long-standing history of women in entertainment, and we’ve had incredible successes and firsts from the region that we’re all very proud of. But in order to give more people a chance to see their lives reflected on screen, we need more women behind and in front of the camera. The Fund for Creative Equity helps the industry as a whole to have a much more dynamic, interesting, multidimensional representation of women and this is one step in the journey to enabling more women to tell their stories and have new audiences discover their work.”
The five women filmmakers represent different parts of the Arab world including Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco. AFAC already has two grants aiming to support filmmakers in cinema and documentary making. From the list of women filmmakers shortlisted for the 2021 grant cycle, Netflix selected its five grantees.
Rima Mismar, AFAC’s Executive Director, added: “More and more Arab women filmmakers are creating moving images that have the power to shed light on the realities of the region. This second collaboration with Netflix, this time to support women in the field of cinema, complements perfectly AFAC’s mission to promote diversity of voices and narratives.”
Among the five filmmakers shortlisted are Asmae El Moudir (Morocco) with the documentary The Mother of All Lies, and, on the fiction side, Diala Kachmar (Lebanon) with From the Other Shore, Jana Wehbe (Lebanon) with The Day Vladimir Died, Tania Khoury (Lebanon) with Manity and Sarra Abidi (Tunisia) with My Name Is Clara.
Over the years, Netflix has licensed exceptional work from female creators and is working with more regional storytellers to the forefront of their experiences.