Abu Dhabi and Israel to cooperate on film and TV content production
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Abu Dhabi and Israel to cooperate on film and TV content production

Abu Dhabi and Israel to cooperate on film and TV content production

A regional annual film festival will be held in rotation between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv


The Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC), the Israel Film Fund (IFF) and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (JSFS) have reached an agreement to create content with the goal of promoting tolerance, education and a deeper cultural understanding between the Emiratis and Israelis.

The partnership will cover four key areas including training programmes, regional film festivals, education and the International Film Lab.

Under the training programme, filmmakers from both countries will participate in intensive script co-development workshops over several months, and will develop Abu Dhabi-Israel film and television co-productions.

As for the education initiative, students will be selected to study in one of three educational tracks in the prestigious Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School’s campus in Jerusalem.

“We are delighted with this historic cooperation agreement with the Israel Film Fund and the Sam Spiegel Film School. This new partnership between the UAE and Israel will be extremely beneficial for our burgeoning Emirati film and television community by allowing our talented content creators to broaden their landscapes and develop skills from diverse expertise,” said Hans Fraikin, the Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner.

The agreement has already made the provision for a regional film festival, whose location will be rotated annually between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv and which will showcase Emirati and Israeli productions and co-productions.

The fourth area of cooperation, the International Film Lab, will see Emirati filmmakers participate in the lab for the first time ever, with one UAE director invited to participate as a jury at the upcoming 2021 edition of the annual Film Lab competition too.

“This agreement strengthens cultural ties between our creative industries as well as supports the development of Abu Dhabi’s film and TV sector through the creation of new opportunities for collaboration that will lead to the development of more quality content underpinned by the UAE’s values of acceptance and respect,” said Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

Lisa Shiloach-Uzrad, executive director of IFF, added: “The art of film is a universal language which can serve as a bridge between cultures and people. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for collaboration through which we can learn, create and become closer to our neighbours in the Middle East.”

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