A new film fund entitled Fajr Falestine will support the production of experimental narrative features and documentaries from the Middle East, with a focus on Palestine.
The fund, created by directors Jessica Habie and Deema Dabis, will form a collective of five selected filmmakers who will receive financial support to make experimental works looking at political, social and cultural issues in the Middle East. The fund, managed and overseen by non-profit creative agency Eyes Infinite Foundation, aims to release five film projects every two years.
The inaugural group of artists will be chosen by a panel of judges including Amreeka director Cherien Dabis, Arab Film Festival programmer Laurence Mazouni, actress Najla Said, cinema scholar Robert Keser, director-producer Natalie Handalm, Palestinian artist Sharif Waked and director-producer Iman Aoun.
The fund’s first feature is co-founder Habie’s drama Mars at Sunrise, which will premiere February 7 and coincide with the announcement of the first panel-selected projects.
“We created the Fajr Falestine Film Fund in order to provide a new distribution avenue to a vibrant community of filmmakers and artists creating experimental films exploring contemporary issues in the Arab world,” said Habie in a statement. “We strongly believe in the power of cinema to incite social change and are thrilled to offer like-minded filmmakers an opportunity to receive funding, guidance and distribution for their films.”