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Tuesday , January 26 2021

Jacir’s ‘Wajib’ takes Dubai Film Connection nod – Pitt’s ‘War Machine’ wraps United Arab Emirates shoot

LOS ANGELES, Dec 14, (Agencies): Palestinian auteur Annemarie Jacir’s new project “Wajib,” a dark comedy involving father-and-son dynamics in a Palestinian family living in the city of Nazareth, in Israel, took the top prize, worth $25,000, at the Dubai Film Connection co-production mart on Sunday.

Earlier in the week the “Wajib” project scored two other awards, the Asian Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) Film Grant, and also the Tribeca Institute’s development nod.

The APSA jury described Wajib as “a beautifully constructed satire which gives an unexpected insight into the complex lives of Palestinian families living in Nazareth.”

“Wajib” will be Jacir’s third work after “When I Saw You” and “Salt of This Sea.”

Jacir’s longtime collaborator Ossama Bawardi is producing the film, under their joint Jordan-based Philistine Films banner.

The complete list of the other DFC winners:

* ART Award — $10,000: Winning Project: “The Maiden’s Pond”, Director: Bassem Breiche, Producer: Roman Roitman

* Cinescape/Front Row Award — $10,000: Winning Project: “Papion On Top of the Water Tanks”, Director: Yahya Alabdallah, Producer: Rula Nasser

* Empire Award — $10,000: Winning Project: “Daoud’s Winter”, Director: Koutaiba Al-Janabi, Producer: Trent

* Fortress Film Clinic — $15,000: Winning Project: “The Bridge”, Director: Hala Lotfy,  Producer: Mohamed Samir

* Sanad Film Fund Abu Dhabi Award — $10,000: Winning Project: “Weight Throwers”, Director: Hind Bensari, Producer: Vibeke Vogel

* Producers Network Accreditations:  Rami Nihawi (“Ibrahim”), Myriam Sassine (“The Inheritor”), Rula Nasser (“Papion on Top of the Water Tank”), Lamia Chraibi (“A Step Behind the Sun”), Ossama Bawardi (“Wajib”)

DFC is part of the Dubai Film Market (DFM) which is now considered the leading industry platform in the region and the gateway to the one of the fastest growing film and TV markets in the world. Since its inception, the Dubai Film Market has supported more than 270 projects and co-produced more than 100 films which have gone on to enjoy critical acclaim and find new audiences across the globe.

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director, Dubai International Film Festival said: Dubai Film Connection has supported the development of more than 120 projects since its establishment in 2007. This year’s selection of projects portrayed impressive quality, innovation, talent and diversification. The region’s film industry has undeniably expanded through the assistance of supportive programmes like DFC and its umbrella, the Dubai Film Market, and we hope that DIFF’s contributions to promising filmmakers will continue to create remarkable films that will be showcased in coming editions of the festival.


LOS ANGELES: Brad Pitt’s satirical comedy “War Machine” has wrapped a 22-day shoot in the United Arab Emirates.

Pic is produced by Netflix and Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, and inspired by the bestselling book “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” by late American journalist Michael Hastings. The book is based on Hasting’s interviews with general Stanley McChrystal who was appointed to command the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2009.

Pitt toplines as a four-star US military general, patterned after McChrystal, who is determined to win the “impossible” war in Afghanistan. Anthony Michael Hall, Will Poulter and Topher Grace also star.

The team behind “War Machine”? arrived in Abu Dhabi in August to set up the production office before the UAE shoot which began in Abu Dhabi in October.

Streets around the Abu Dhabi Media compound were transformed in order to create a fictional American embassy in Kabul. The production also filmed at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the Abu Dhabi New York Film Academy and in remote areas of the Abu Dhabi desert. The film used 500 extras representing 20-plus nationalities, said Noura Al Khaabi, CEO of twofour54 and of the Media Zone Authority Abu Dhabi.

“War Machine” is the latest high-profile Hollywood production after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and “Fast and Furious 7” to tap into the Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30% cashback rebate on production spend.

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