Magazine article Screen International

Arab Film Institute Launched in Dubai

Magazine article Screen International

Arab Film Institute Launched in Dubai

Article excerpt

Top industry figures from across the Arab cinema world gathered at DIFF yesterday for the launch of the Arab Film Institute (AFI).

Headquartered in Dubai, the non-profit cultural body aims to act as a platform for Arab cinema, past and present, and support its future development at every level, from production through to distribution and promotion.

Modelled loosely on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the new body will also launch an Oscar-style awards ceremony, the Arab Film Awards, covering 19 categories, from directing to cinematography and lifetime achievement.

Funding for the body will come through membership fees and patronage.

"Being a witness and active member of the bright and rich Arab film scene, I felt we needed to bring together all this energy and exchange experiences and ideas as well as offering wider opportunities in a fast-changing world to our film community," explained Lebanese producer Paul Baboudjian.

Some of the industry figures and journalists at the Sunday's DIFF news conference questioned the practicality of trying to create an umbrella body to cover the whole of the Arab world given the diversity of its various territories. …

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