The Sundance Institute has announced the selection of seven projects for the third annual Middle East Screenwriters Lab, which takes place in Jordan Oct 28-Nov 1.
Run in collaboration with Jordan's Royal Film Commission, the Lab involves the upcoming directors and writers taking part in an intensive workshop with 'creative advisors', including Ali Zaoua director Nabil Ayouch, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix writer Michael Goldenberg, veteran Egyptian writer-director Yousry Nasrallah (Bab Al Shams/The Door to the Sun), and American Psycho director Mary Harron.
Sundance Institute Associate Director Alesia Weston returns as Creative Director of the Lab.
'Once again, I'm struck by the quality and the boldness of the work we are supporting in the Middle East,' said Ken Brecher, executive director of the Sundance Institute. 'Each project reflects the unique vision of each of the filmmakers, and tells a timely and poignant story with humor and heart that reflects the complexity and humanity of the world we live in.'
The Lab is one of several RFC initiatives aimed at boosting local and regional filmmaking. Recent foreign shoots in the Kingdom include Brian de Palma's Redacted and Nick Broomfield's Battle for Haditha. Jordan's first homegrown features include Amin Matalqa's Captain Abu Raed, due out in December, and Hazim Bitar's From Nowhere with Love, which was included in Locarno's Open Doors 2007 programme .
The projects selected for the 2007 Middle East Screenwriter's Lab are:
Brahim by Chadi Zeneddine (Lebanon)
A young boy, fascinated by his grandfather's legendary stories of Arabic literature and mythology, grows up to be a filmmaker.
The Building by Suhad Khatib (Jordan)
At a group of apartments in Amman, the lives of its inhabitants become intimately intertwined in the aftermath of a local bombing.
Dancing at the Checkpoint by Ismael El Habbash (Palestine)
Covers one, surreal day at an Israeli checkpoint between two Palestinian towns.
Detroit Unleaded by Rola Nashef (Lebanon/US)
A feature developed out of the successful short of the same name, which explores the 'gas station as the economic heart and social center of the Arab-American community'.
A Place for Atlas's Feet by Sali Ma Ben Moumen (Morocco)
A portrait of four generations of one family in the Atlas mountains, from the first threat of the French incursion in 1907 until the Moroccan fight for independence in 1956.
Samba Do Maazooz by Hicham Ayouch (Morocco)
The story of a 30-year-old Moroccan man, struggling to reconcile is obsession for all things Brazilian with life in his humble village.
Sammy Paradise by Eyad Zahra (Syria)
The story of a self-proclaimed Egyptian-American musician in California who rebels against his mother's traditional lifestyle and enters a local music contest.