Eisa Saif Al Mazroui (left), Dr Hala Sarhan, President of Rotana Studios, and David Shepheard at a press conference. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Over 600 industry professionals representing 30 countries have registered to take part at this year's The Circle Conference, in addition to 200 students from universities across the UAE.

This was announced at a press conference recently at the Intercontinental Hotel.

"Among the issues the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) is committed to is the development of the cinematic culture of Abu Dhabi…The Circle Conference is now in its fourth year [and] we are proud that it has grown…to become a major industry conference that serves as the meeting place for creative talent, producers and financiers from the Middle East and around the globe," Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazroui, Culture and Heritage Affairs Advisor at the Crown Prince's Court and Director General of Adach, said.

Panel discussions for this year's conference include the business and creative elements of film, the emerging Arab media industry. Also included are sport and entertainment broadcasting, 3D filmmaking, as well as highlighting the success of Jordan as a production destination.


"This year, we will place a special spotlight on Jordan that will be chaired by Princess Rym Ali, a board member of the Royal Film Commission — Jordan and the Founder of Jordan Media Institute. Among the panelists is Nicholas Chartier, the producer of the Oscar winning The Hurt Locker… we also have as one of participants Jason Blum, the producer of Paranormal Activity, a movie that was shot with a budget of $15,000 [Dh55,050] but went on to earn $192 million," David Shepheard, Director, Adfc, said.

The Circle Conference will end with the presentation of the Sasha Grant, Adfc's $100,000 screenwriting competition, which accepted Arabic-language entries for the first time this year. The winner will be chosen out of 150 submissions.

"Adfc has launched a number of unique initiatives, including training opportunities for local and international talent, and production grants for emerging filmmakers…the Sasha Grant will bring six aspiring Arab filmmakers to Abu Dhabi to pitch their work to a jury of industry experts, .... Last year, a filmmaker from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was able to speak to a major Hollywood studio that agreed to support her," Eisa Saif Al Mazroui, Director, Special Projects, Adach, said.

Event details

  • WHAT: The Circle Conference
  • WHEN: October 13 - 15, 2010
  • WHERE: Intercontinental Hotel

- For more information: www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae