'Since the conception of the festival, I have wanted to offer an arena where global financiers, executives and film-makers could meet and collaborate on film funds and co-productions,' said film festival executive director Nashwa Al-Ruwaini, who described the festival's ambitions to be the 'Davos of the film world'.
The FFC's confirmed guests include BBC Films head David M Thompson, Bank of Ireland's manager of Film Finance Anthony Beaudoin, Hyde Park Entertainment CEO Ashok Amritraj, Foresight Unlimited's Mark Damon, South African producer Anant Singh, Handmade Films's Michael Ryan (currently chair of the Independent Film & Television Alliance), and HanWay founder Peter Watson.
With panel discussions, roundtables and daily 'collaboration oases', FFC has a three-day workshop and pitching forum, the InCircle Pearl, with six projects in development. The winner receives a grant from the Abu Dhabi Film Fund.
Conference Director Adrienne Briggs is also devising a pre-festival, brainstorming retreat for financiers and executives involved in existing film funds, aimed at forming a blueprint for the new Abu Dhabi Film Fund. Like the festival, the fund is overseen by Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.
Festival director Jon Fitzgerald has yet to announce the 50-film-strong programme which competitions for features, documentaries and shorts, plus showcases of Middle Eastern and Bollywood cinema, and a selection of international premieres.
Black Pearl award-winners will receive 'substantial production grants' towards their next projects.
The festival runs from 14to 19 October.