Ziad Doueiri has The Attack in development with Focus Features, but most other film-makers are turning as ever to European funds. Dima El Horr's Every Day is a Holiday, a Lebanese (Taxi Films), French (Cine Sud) and German (Niko Film) production, is in preproduction.
Thierry Lenouvel's Cine-Sud also co-produced Michael Kammoun's 2006 festival favourite Falafel. Chadi Zeneddine is in post with Waiting for Beirut, and developing Brahim, Tell Me Your Story, both co-productions with Samuel Chauvin's Promenade Film.
Bosta director Philippe Aractingi is in Cannes to promote Under the Bombs, a production of Paul Raphael's London-based Starfield Productions, set during last summer's Israeli assault on southern Lebanon. In the UK, the film, now in post-production, has been sold to Maiden Voyage for theatrical, and the producers are in talks with Channel 4 for TV. ARTE have taken French TV rights.
Director Assad Fouladkar, best known for his 2001 film When Maryam Spoke Out (featured in the Cinema du Monde programme), has recently signed with Youssef Chahine and Gabriel Khoury's Cairo-based Misr International to produce his next two films, Cedar Tree and Halal Sex. Cedar Tree is likely to be an Australian co-production, with shooting due to start in November.
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (A Perfect Day) are in post-production with their latest short, which stars Catherine Deneuve, and at the Cannes Atelier with their next feature, I Can't Go Home.
Meanwhile, Colette Naufal's Beirut International Film Festival (Oct 3-10) is pre-celebrating its tenth anniversary with a glitzy party at the Carlton Beach on Tuesday evening co-hosted by Yeslam Bin Laden, OBL's estranged half-brother. Based in Switzerland with a villa in Cannes, the Lars von Trier fan dabbles in perfume (Yeslam) as well as film production, through his position on the board of Gerald Morin's Almaz Film. This is the first time the millionaire has lent his support to Arab cinema; hopes are high that his investment may extend to production as well as festivals.