The Abu Dhabi Film Festival isn't purely about screening new films; it's about supporting forthcoming titles, too. Sanad is the festival's development and post-production fund that doles out grants – totalling US$500,000 (Dh1.84 million) annually – to film-makers from across the region to help with their projects.
And each October, the fruits of these investments get showcased. An increasing number of Sanad-supported features have started appearing on the festival's schedule.
This year, undoubtedly the most high-profile Sanad film is the Egyptian veteran Yousry Nasrallah's After the Battle. The drama, set during last year's revolution, premiered at Cannes. Other films also touch upon recent regional upheavals, with As if We Were Catching a Cobra from the Syrian director Hala Alabdalla; Cursed be the Phosphate, from Tunisian Sami Tlili; and Nouri Bouzid's Hidden Beauties, again from Tunisia.
The subject of Palestinian refugee camps features in A World Not Ours, a documentary from Mahdi Fleifel, and When I Saw You, a drama by Annemarie Jacir. When I Saw You is the Palestinian Territories's official entry for next year's Academy Awards. There are also two documentaries from Egypt, with Mohammad Saved from the Waters investigating issues of poverty and health. The other is In Search of Oil and Sand, which looks at the bizarre circumstances in 1952 when Egyptian royalty shot a film about a coup just weeks before a real revolution rocked the country.