Abu Dhabi fest taps Macia to oversee fund

Programmer recently moved into producing

CANNES -- The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has tapped film programmer and producer Marie-Pierre Macia to oversee Sanad, the fest's recently launched development and postproduction fund for filmmakers from the Arab world.

Born in Algeria, Macia has compiled impressive programming and production credits: These include the San Francisco Film Festival and the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, where she presented the first features of Sofia Coppola, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Carlos Reygadas and Stephen Daldry as well as of the pioneers of the Romanian New Wave.

More Cannes coverage  
Her long-standing support of Middle Eastern cinema is exemplified by her having been the first to bring the work of Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman to the attention of European viewers.

"Throughout her distinguished career, Marie-Pierre has discovered and championed new talents and we are delighted to have her in charge of Sanad," said Peter Scarlet, executive director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. "Personally, professionally and intellectually, there's no one better qualified for this job. Her international standing and her strong ties to the Arab film community are sure to help Sanad become one of the region's essential sources of support for filmmakers."

Macia recently moved into producing, with credits including Adrian Sitaru's "Hooked," an award-winner at several festivals, and the latest work of Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr. She also is producing Palestinian directors Kamal Aljafari and Ihab Jadallah.

Since 2006, Macia also has served as the artistic director of Crossroads, the co-production forum of the Thessaloniki fest, where she brings together films in development with industry experts, financiers and sales agents from all over the world.

"By creating this fund, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is responding to crucial needs in the Arab Film world," Macia said. "I am delighted to combine both my professional experience and personal origins in order to support talented filmmakers and carry forward the mission of the festival to nurture a vibrant regional film culture."

Since Sanad was announced several weeks ago, Abu Dhabi fest organizers have received five applications and numerous correspondence about other projects. Every year, Sanad will allocate $500,000 in development and postproduction grants to outstanding regional filmmakers.

To further raise awareness of the fund, Scarlet and Macia will discuss Sanad at the Cannes Producers Network on Friday at 9 a.m.
comments powered by Disqus