Dubai-based film funding initiative Filmi is financing Emirati animated feature Martyr Of The Flag and Waleed Al Shehhi’s IWC Filmmaker Award winner Dolphins.

A part of government organisation Watani, Filmi was launched in May this year to promote the cultural identity and social values of the UAE through films.

Currently in post-production, Martyr Of The Flag revolves around Salim Suhail, the first martyr of the UAE who was killed by Iranian military for refusing to lower the flag of the Emirates in 1971.

The film is being directed by Mohammad Fikree, whose short film Girl & It is part of Muhr Emirati competition at this year’s DIFF. 

Principal photography on Dolphins starts in January 2014 and the film is expected to be ready for the next edition of DIFF.

Filmi fully financed four films that are premiering in this year’s Muhr Emirati Competition – Nugoom Al-Ghanem’s documentary Red Blue Yellow and three short films: Muna Al Ali’s Concealment, Hamad Al Hammadi’s Nafaf and Nasser Al Yaqobi’s Haneen.

“Through Filmi, we want to create a platform that encourages cinema as an independent art form and helps filmmakers right from the inception of their projects. We believe in investing in filmmakers,” said Filmi CEO Abdulaziz Ahmad Al-Najjar.

Filmi aims to support a minimum of four Emirati projects every year in addition to two films per cycle of Enjaaz, the post-production and production funding support programme of the Dubai Film Market.