Tropfest Arabia will premiere in Abu Dhabi in November 2011; competition open to Middle East and North African countries.

Sydney and New York short film series Tropfest is expanding to Abu Dhabi this year. Exact festival dates have yet to be confirmed.

The short film competition will be open to national of Algeriam Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.

The festival jury, announced on October 16, will select 12 short-listed finalist films, which will be premiered at the festival. A celebrity jury will choose the winning film during the festival.

Tropfest Arabia is sponsored by twofour54, the Abu Dhabi government initiative for the development of Arabic media and entertainment content.

The prize pool available includes cash prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, a visit to Los Angeles for a week of industry meetings, a trip to Australia to take part in Tropfest 2012, places on international training workshops delivered by twofour54 tadreeb and access to state of the art production and post production facilities at twofour54 intaj.

Commenting on the launch, Wayne Borg, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Tropfest to the region as we believe that we share a common mission in our efforts to help young and aspiring film makers in their first step on the journey to fulfill a career ambition and unlock their potential. There is an abundance of talent in this region and, since short films are seen as the entry point to the film industry, we believe that this grass roots festival will provide a unique platform for emerging film makers.”

Actor-director and Tropfest founder John Polson added: “It is clear that over the last few years the short film industry has been growing throughout the Middle East. As this industry continues to develop so too does the need to provide budding film makers with a channel through which to showcase their creative talents. We hope that the introduction of Tropfest Arabia will do just this.”

Tropfest ran this weekend in Sydney and will travel to other cities across Australia.