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Netflix Partners with Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to Support Emerging Female Filmmakers in the Middle East


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Netflix has launched a training program for emerging female talent in film in collaboration with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC). The ‘Women in Film: Introduction to the Creative Process’ initiative will give young women a chance to undertsand the filmmaking process and the various roles women can play behind the camera.

With applications open from August 17 to September 18, women aged 21 to 27 can apply to be a part of the program. 45 participants who have graduated recently and are interested in film will be chosen from Egypt, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, and the UAE. Selected candidates will then attend a series of workshops, where they will be introduced to scriptwriting and the creative process of filmmaking by established female filmmakers from the Arab region.

Beginning in November, the three-day workshops will be taking place in Cairo, Dubai, and Jeddah. However, all participants will be provided the chance to visit Netflix’s production hub in Europe early next year. The initiate is of immense importance to the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, and will be paramount in increasing creative diversity.

Nuha el Tayeb, Director of Content for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said, “At Netflix, we are passionate about amplifying women’s voices behind the camera. That includes a commitment to authentic storytelling which is intrinsically linked to developing the region’s talent pipeline. AFAC has been a long-standing partner and done some incredible work for underrepresented voices. Through this partnership, we are discovering a wealth of promising Arab talent and working to ensure that women are represented both on and off camera.”

Founded in 2007 by Arab cultural activists, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) is an independent foundation supporting artists, writers, researchers, and organizations in the Arab region. Rima Mismar, Executive Director at AFAC, said: “Throughout our 16 years in operation, we have been committed to supporting bold creative voices of women and men artists, who are trying to push boundaries and challenge status-quos. In film specifically, 44% of supported films to date are by women filmmakers. Through this renewed partnership with Netflix, we build on that commitment, extending our technical support to emerging women talents and allowing for a deeper understanding of the inequities and inequalities that women are subjected to in the film industry.”

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