The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) has unveiled the 11 projects to receive support from its Sanad fund in the first application cycle this year.

The projects include submissions from well-known Arab filmmakers such as Lebanon’s Jocelyne Saab and Syria’s Hala Alabdallah, along with newcomers such as Safinez Bousbia, whose El Gusto will screen at ADFF in October.

“It also gives us great pleasure to see that projects that have received Sanad development grants in 2010 are moving forward towards production,” said ADFF executive director Peter Scarlet. “For example, Mohamed Al-Daradji’s The Train Station has now been selected for the sixth Cinéfondation Atelier in Cannes.”

In addition, Leila Kilani’s On the Plank, which received a post-production grant in 2010, is screening in Directors’ Fortnight at this year’s Cannes.

Sanad head Marie-Pierre Macia said: “The selection process is no easy task since we receive a huge number of high-quality projects. But it boosts our hope and enthusiasm to see some of our post-production projects going on to international success.”

Established in 2010, Sanad provides development and post-production funding to feature-length narrative and documentary projects. The fund awards a total of $500,000 each year in two funding rounds. The second cycle of 2011 closes on July 1.

The 11 projects to receive funding in the first round of 2011 are:

Development Projects (Narrative):

I Am Nojood, 10 Years Old And Divorced – Khadija Al Salami (Yemen)

Mettou – Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania/France)

Origins – Malek Bensmaïl (Algeria)

Development Projects (Documentary):

Iraqi Odyssey – Samir (Switzerland/Iraq/Germany)

Miss Hissa Hilal – Stefanie Brockhaus (Saudi Arabia/Germany)

My Love Awaits Me By The Sea – Mais Darwazeh (Jordan)

No Direction Home – Guy Brooks and John Hollingsworth (UAE/Palestine/Jordan)

Woman In Mediterranean Sea (working title) – Jocelyne Saab (Lebanon/France)

Yasmina And Mohammed – Regine Abadia (Algeria/Lebanon/France)

Post-Production Projects (Documentary):

As If We Were Catching A Cobra – Hala Alabdalla (Syria/France)

El Gusto – Safinez Bousbia (Algeria/Ireland/France)