Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton and The Missing Picture producer Catherine Dussart among those to host masterclasses.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Oct 24-Nov 2) has unveiled its programme of masterclasses covering topics from breaking into Hollywood to the revival of Iraqi cinema.
ADFF Talks Film will give filmmakers and students a chance to meet and learn from international industry professionals but are also open to the general public.

On Oct 25, in “Show me the money!”, a panel of representatives from film funds from around the world will discuss financing opportunities available to Arab filmmakers, while “In Conversation with Daniel Schechter” offers an opportunity to learn from the director of the Opening Night film Life of Crime who will discuss what it is like to work with actors like Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins and Mos Def.

On Oct 26, the panel discussion “Location, Location, Location” looks at the trend for MENA countries to open film commissions to attract international film productions and what benefits are on offer to film makers.

“In Conversation with Ashok Amritraj” will explore the story of how a boy from Chennai became a Hollywood producer, making over 100 films including Life of Crime and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

On Oct 27, ADFF will host panel discussion “100 years of Indian Cinema: studying the past to define the future” including panellists from Bollywood and independent Indian filmmakers.
On Oct 28, emerging film making talent will get a boost to their ambitions from the “Aflamnah Workshop”, a seminar on how to use the MENA region’s first crowd-funding platform to raise funds for their film, and from “Jump Cut!”, a masterclass with Destin Daniel Cretton, director of Short Term 12, who will discuss how to make the transition from short films to features.

On the same day, inspirational women from across the industry will discuss how they made it to the top including Hiam Abass in “Heroines of the Silver Screen”, while “Diaspora and the Renaissance of Iraqi Cinema” looks at the rebirth of Iraqi cinema and the contribution of expat Iraqis.
On Oct 29, producer Catherine Dussart (The Missing Picture) will guide aspiring producers and interested film fans through the process of producing a film in “So You Want to be a Producer”.

The masterclass programme closes with “Cinematic Debuts”, a panel discussion about the first films of renowned Arab film makers which complements ADFF’s special programme of the same name.  

Festival director Ali Al Jabri said masterclasses are one of the ways ADFF is hoping to grow the local film industry and build a film culture.

“An important part of our work is creating connections between local film talent and the wider industry,” he said. “The Festival helps filmmakers develop their projects by introducing them to key players in the industry.

“We have a multitude of producers, co-producers, sales agents, distributors, marketing executives and representatives from film funds from all around the world coming to ADFF and that creates opportunities.”

ADFF Masterclasses will be held in the Emirates Palace Ballroom. They are free to attend and admission is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.