Dear Ali: I have completed a script for what I believe will be a very good film. The genre is suspense and thriller, but I have no financial backing. How can I obtain financing for my film in your country? YB, Pakistan
Dear YB: I applaud your desire to pursue your dreams. The film industry in this region is growing, so it's a good time to try to be a part of it.
First, I suggest that you attend film festivals in the UAE. We have two main ones: the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in October and the Dubai International Film Festival in December. Both are of paramount importance in showcasing and supporting regional film-making.
Both festivals run for about 10 days and, as well as film screenings, each offers workshops, seminars, panel discussions and networking events with producers and investors. Attending such events will allow you to introduce your film concept to potential investors or to people who can connect you with investors - and will therefore help you to get noticed within the industry.
Additionally, I recommend that you contact D-Seven Motion Pictures and apply for a programme called Bloom Cine Startups. D-Seven is located in Dubai Media City and can be reached at 04 391 0051 or at its website, www.d-seven.com, where you can read about the Bloom Cine programme and apply for it.
Bloom Cine provides funding for short films and sometimes for feature-length projects. After you apply, I suggest you give them a call and ask for an appointment to further explain your concept or simply meet with them so they have a better understanding of your project. After all, establishing some sort of contact can't hurt. Never underestimate the power of telephone or face-to-face introductions.
I hope you take full advantage of the great networking opportunities that exist here in the United Arab Emirates - and that are often more difficult to find and access in other parts of the world.
Dear Ali: I would like to donate used baby items (car seats, a pushchair, toys, clothing and books, for example) that are in good condition. Where can I do this? Is there an orphanage or a shelter for needy children in or close to Dubai where people like me can make donations? PT, Dubai
Dear PT: I am happy to hear that someone is interested in donating items rather than throwing them into the bin.
There are several places in Dubai to donate unwanted, yet still valuable, items.
One such wonderful service is www.takemyjunk.ae. Once you know what you want to give away, all you have to do is e-mail them the list of things you want to get rid of and they will get back to you with a suitable time and day to pick up the stuff.
That's right. You don't have to take your donated items to them - they will collect them at your house.
The items are then donated to places such as the Red Crescent, labour camps, etc. Or they might be sold to help the organisation cover its costs.
You can also get in touch with the Red Crescent (our version of the Red Cross) via its toll-free number, 800 733 800. It will be happy to accept donations of items that are still in good condition.
To say "I want to donate my things" in Emirati Arabic, you would say something like this: "Aba atbaraa bi aghradhi" for both males and females.