Thursday, December 16, 2010

DIFF selects ‘Rehleh’ as tenth film for post-production funding

Enjaaz programme of DIFF has selected nine projects already this year 
  • Applications for the first 2011 cycle open until February 2011

Dubai, UAE; December 16, 2010: Enjaaz, the dedicated post-production fund of the Dubai International Film Festival, has selected ‘Rehleh,’ a project by Meyar Al Roumi, as the tenth project this year to receive financial support.

Launched by the Dubai Film Market, the comprehensive script-to-screen industry initiative and the largest of its kind film market in the Arab world, Enjaaz selects up to 15 documentary and fiction feature filmmakers to receive up to US$100,000 annually to provide funds and support for films in development.

DIFF Managing Director Shivani Pandya said: “Enjaaz steps in at the most critical juncture in the evolution of a film from ideation to completion, by offering valuable support for post-production. ‘Rehleh’ is a compelling story, which like other Enjaaz-supported funds, has the potential to win global acclaim.” 

Produced by Jerome Bleitrach under the banner of Bizibi, ‘Rehleh’ is a fiction feature which features two stories. The first is story of two young lovers on a quest for survival amidst the imposing restrictions of their society. The second is a story of disillusionment and an abandonment of love upon tasting the freedom the lovers were so desperate for. Set in Damascus and Tehran, ‘Rehleh’ is a journey of introspection and revelation.

On the premise of his film, Meyar says: “I wanted to start from a practical situation: When not married how can two young people live out their love in Syria? The issue of Walid and Souhaire is a starting point, and my goal was to focus on the feelings of my characters.”

Arab filmmakers around the world can apply for the first cycle of the 2011 edition of Ejaaz until February 1, 2011. The decision on distribution of funds will be made on March 15, 2011. In the second cycle, entries will close on August 1, 2011, and funding decisions announced by September 15, 2011. Details on submission requirements are available at

Enjaaz funded seven films as part of its 2009 debut, and covers all aspects of post-production including editing, sound, special effects and specialized processes that begin once filming has wrapped, plays a vital role in shaping the final product.

In 2009, Enjaaz supported Zindeeq, directed by Michel Khleifi; Iman Kamel’s Beit Sha’ar, Marianne Khoury and Mustapha Hasnaoui’s Zelal (All you need is love), Samir Abdallah’s  and Khair Al Din Mabrouk Gaza-Strophe, Palestine, Kaouther Ben Hania’s Imams Go to School, Koutaiba Al Janabi’s Departure and Leila Sansour’s The Road to Bethlehem. While Zindeeq was screened at DIFF 2009 and won the Muhr Arab award for best feature, all the others are screening at DIFF this year.

To qualify for selection, the final cut of the feature films must be a work of fiction that equals or exceeds 60 minutes in length, while documentary films must be non-fiction that exceeds 50 minutes. Films must be directed by an Arab filmmaker and the subject and storyline of the film must be centred on the Arab world, Arab history, and/or Arab culture for the respective competitions.

DIFF 2010 box office locations are: CineStar Mall of the Emirates, the Madinat Souk, The Walk at JBR, and at the CNN Building in Dubai Media City. Tickets can also be purchased through DIFF’s Dial-a-Ticket service at (04) 391 3378 and from the website,

DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The event is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. 

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