Macia is a well-known figure on the international film scene as both a producer and programmer; she previously served as head of Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Marie-Pierre Macia has been tapped to oversee the new development and post-production fund launched by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

As reported in April, the new Sanad fund was set up with $500,000 per year to support filmmakers from the Arab World.

Algeria-born Macia is a well-known figure on the international film scene as both a producer and programmer. She has worked at the San Francisco Film Festival, has headed Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, and produced films for Adrian Sitaru, Bela Tarr, Kamal Aljafari and Ihab Jadallah. Since 2006, she had served as artistic director of the Crossroads forum at Greece’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

Peter Scarlet, executive director of ADFF, said: “Throughout her distinguished career, Marie-Pierre has discovered and championed many new talents and we are delighted to have her in charge of Sanad. Personally, professionally and intellectually, there’s no one better qualified for this job. Her international standing and her strong ties to the Arab film community are sure to help Sanad become one of the region’s essential sources of support for filmmakers. And it’s great to have her working with me once again after the many years we collaborated in San Francisco.”

Macia added: “By creating this fund, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is responding to crucial needs in the Arab film world. I am delighted to combine both my professional experience and personal origins in order to support talented filmmakers and carry forward the mission of the festival to nurture a vibrant regional film culture.”

The Sanad fund has already received five applications in its first two weeks, organisers said. The festival’s project director Eissa Saif Rashed Al Mazrouei added: “The feedback has been phenomenal, which goes to show the great potential of a fund like Sanad to help regional filmmakers develop and complete their projects.”
Scarlet and Macia will be presenting Sanad at the Cannes Producers Network (May 14, 9-11 am).

ADFF was formerly known as the Middle East International Film Festival.