If you heard Quentin Tarantino at the Oscars last month, you’ll know that this is “the writer’s year”. Sure, he may have been a little excited having picked up the gong for Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained, but there’s no denying there was an impressive array of storytelling in the running. And while three-hour epics about slavery and meticulous German bounty hunters might be some way off, storytellers across the Middle East are currently seizing their chance to tell their tales through a series of scriptwriting courses.
The Intensive Screenwriting Workshops kicked off last week at thejamjar in Dubai and have now moved on to twofour54 in Abu Dhabi, where they will run until Saturday, before heading to Doha (March 14-16), Kuwait (March 21-23) and Beirut (April 5-8). Organised by Cinephilia Productions, an art-house film production company based in New York and Los Angeles, the courses are being given by the company’s founder, the award-winning director and film producer Darine Hotait, who says she wants to “release filmmakers from the fear of not getting their films made”.
By the end of the workshop, the aim is to have the first draft of a short film script, which students can then submit to Cinephilia for funding consideration. If in the next few years you hear of a short about either an old Thai fisherman, a child soldier who wants a water pistol or an emotional Dubai taxi ride, you know where it first came from.
For more information, contact www.cinephilia-productions.com
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