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RFC resumes film fund to boost industry

By JT - Mar 06,2018 - Last updated at Mar 07,2018

The Jordan Film Fund provides support to filmmakers in order to develop the independent film industry in Jordan (Photo courtesy of RFC website)

AMMAN — The Royal Film Commission (RFC) on Tuesday announced the resumption of the Jordan Film Fund (JFF), which aims to provide support to filmmakers, develop the independent film industry and contribute to its sustainability, the RFC said on their website on Tuesday.

JFF will provide a total of JD250,000 in grants to support the development, production and post-production of cinematic feature narratives and documentaries, in addition to funding the production of short and animated films, according to the website. 

JFF will also support the development of two TV series by Jordanian writers this year.

Two independent international juries composed of established professionals, directors and producers will evaluate eligible applications in the cinema and TV categories. Their assessment will take into consideration the quality of eligible projects, their originality, creative merit, feasibility, as well as the filmmakers’ credentials and abilities.

Commenting on the inauguration of the third cycle, George David, RFC’s managing director, was quoted by the website as saying: “We are extremely happy to announce the resumption of this fund, which unfortunately had to be suspended for five years due to budgetary constraints.” 

“We believe this fund is crucial as it provides much-needed seed money for filmmakers and will revitalise the local film industry. The experience we had with previously funded projects has been very conclusive and we expect to have more productions that give a voice to Jordanians,” David added.

In the past two cycles (2011-2013), JFF supported 27 cinematic projects, granting them a total of JD 380,000. 

Most of the funded projects were well received in regional and international film festivals, such as “Blessed Benefit” by Mahmoud Al Massad, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2016 and received Best Film and Best Actor awards in Warsaw International Film Festival.

Jordan’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2017, “3000 Nights” by Mai Masri, also participated in over 80 film festivals, winning 24 awards. 

Supported by JFF at the development stage, the feature documentary “Aisha” (2016) by Asma Bseiso, received Best Documentary award at Malmo Arab Film Festival while the short film “Ismail” by Nora Al Sharif, another JFF beneficiary, was selected at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2013.

Director Mai Masri said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to receive financial support from RFC’s Jordan Film Fund, as it pushed the project into production and helped secure additional funds.” 

Masri added that the RFC’s “invaluable logistical assistance” in securing shooting permits and access to a real prison gave “3000 Nights” a powerful and distinctive visual identity, the RFC added. 

“I am glad the RFC has resumed this fund and wish it will support unique and brave voices from Jordan and across the Arab world,” she added.

Applications are welcome for all categories starting from March 6, 2018, and the deadline for cinema category is on May 3, 2018; whereas the application deadline for the TV series is on April 10, 2018. 

Additional information on eligibility criteria, the application process, guidelines and regulations are available on the RFC’s website:

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