Upcoming productions include Ahd Kamel’ s My Driver and I.

Former Doha Film Institute (DFI) director of film financing Paul Miller is setting up shop in the Netherlands. 

The veteran producer, who has moved to the country for family reasons, has recently launched consultancy firm Internal Affairs with US-based producer Dan Lindau and is working on several feature projects under his Escape Pictures company banner.

“Internal Affairs is a consultancy advising clients on everything from best practices to film financing to production in the filmed entertainment as well as commercials,” said Miller, who is attending the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Jan 21-Feb 1) as a speaker on one of the industry panels as well as at the producer-focused Rotterdam Lab.

“We’re already working with a company in Qatar and are probably going to start working with some companies in the Netherlands,” added Miller, who retains good contacts in the Middle East after his DFI stint.

“I’m going to be producing but I’m also looking to see what opportunities there are in the Dutch film financing eco-system to see whether there is something interesting to do and whether there is something which is beneficial to the system – whether it’s a direct film fund, or some cash flow facility or a P&A fund.

“I think I’m well placed to act as bridge between Europe and the US. I loved to do something to make Dutch film travel, maybe not in Dutch but in English - there’s a lot of talent here.”

In development

Miller’s projects in development include My Driver and I, from Saudi actress and filmmaker Ahd Kamel.

“It revolves around the paternal relationship between a young woman and her long-time driver who has been the one constant in her life,” said Miller.

“We’re finalising the screenplay and plan to shoot this year. We’re looking at various locations in the Middle East. We’ll shoot either before or after Ramadan (June 18-July 17).” 

It will mark the debut feature for Kamel - who prefers to be referred to simply as Ahd - after short films The Shoemaker and La Sainteté. 

The actress and director is best known internationally for her performance as the glamorous schoolteacher in Wadjda. Casting is currently underway for the lead role. 

He is also attached as a co-producer to Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi’s Forgiveness (previously known as The Eagle and The Butterfly) – set against the backdrop of Ireland and Lebanon - alongside Marie Masmonteil and Denis Carot at Paris-based Elzévir Films, David Collins at Irish Samson Films and Titus Kreyenburg from unafilm in Germany.

Miller brought in Irish writer and director Macdara Vallely, whose Babygirl Miller produced alongside Collins, to work on latest version of the script.

“The film is partly set against the Northern Ireland conflict and Macdara is well-placed to write about this,” added Miller.

“The script’s in a good place now, so we’re ready to reignite that and will be talking about it on Rotterdam and Berlin.”