The recently-launched Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) has unveiled a raft of initiatives to support the country’s burgeoning film and TV industry, including a tie-up with Mira Nair’s Maisha Film Lab.

This year’s Maisha Film Lab will include eight writers and directors from Abu Dhabi who will join participants from around the globe in the 23-day programme. Scheduled to take place in Uganda in August, the lab is a training programme that focuses on creative talent from East Africa and South Asia.

The ADFC has also taken over three other existing initiatives – the Emirates Film Competition, the $100,000 Shasha Grant screenwriting competition and The Circle Conference, which will take place Oct 9-11 during the Middle East International Film Festival (Oct 8-17). For the first time this year, the conference will be held in association with Imagenation Abu Dhabi.

The Shasha Grant has launched a call for entries (May 15-July 15) after which six finalists will attend The Circle Conference to refine their pitches. The eventual winner will be offered a first-look deal with Abu Dhabi’s production arm Imagenation.

“The ADFC will present Abu Dhabi to film industry leaders with the vision to establish Abu Dhabi as a global creative city for film, TV and digital media,” said ADFC director David Shepheard.