Regional Filmmaking Programme Fosters Director-Producer Synergy

October 27, 2017

AMMAN — Aseel Abu Ayyash has been working in the cinematic field for five years, longing to become the producer of a movie one day. 
Her dream came true when she joined a 10-day workshop, running from October 20-29, organised by the Royal Film Commission (RFC), where she said she felt that she took her first step on the path of cinema. 
“This programme gives me the opportunity to work on  my first feature film , while giving me the chance to be the main producer as well. This is an achievement for me,” she told The Jordan Times at the premises of the RFC in Jabal Amman on Sunday. 
Abu Ayyash is among 12 participants from the region who are participating in the fifth round of Med Film Factory (MFF), organised by RFC and funded by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF). 
Rim Qutishat, AHSF’s grants coordinator, said the foundation’s support came as part of their funds programmes designed to promote a society of culture and creativity. 
Qutishat said that the foundation chose to support it as it is the only programme in the Arab world that is specialised in training a producer and a director at the same time. 
“We supported them last year and we decided to fund the programme again this year. Skill-building programmes are very limited and cinema plays a big role in supporting the economy of any country,” she added.  
The programme aims to provide advanced training for directors and producers from the region, who team up to work on their first or second feature narrative film project, according to the RFC. 
For Areeb Zuaitr, RFC’s regional training manager, the most important regulation of the programme is that a director and a producer must be fully involved in the project, and that it is not allowed for a director to only participate with a script.
“We pay attention to the relationship between the producer and the director. The director has a wide imagination and there is the creative producer who can advise whether the idea is feasible or not or if it is within the production’s budget,” she told The Jordan Times at the RFC on Sunday.  
She noted that the role of the creative producer is usually to read the script and put notes on it. 
“The director is the creative mind behind the project and the producer is the logical one. There is not enough awareness about the importance of this relationship,” she added. 
Zuaitr said there are six teams consisting of 12 participants taking part in the project, adding that there are four Jordanian participants. 
“It is an intense 10-day progamme and the director and producer come up with the idea of a film. It does not only help them in creating their film, it also enables them to represent themselves in front of investors and on the regional and international film markets,” she said, adding that the programme also includes setting up one on one interviews with experts and to discuss project pitching  techniques.  
At the end of the workshop, the programme focuses on helping filmmakers take their work to a specific film market either in the world or the Arab world, said Zuaitr.  
Abu Ayyash said she has learned a lot about ways to include her own input in the script.  
“In the past, I felt like I could do everything by myself and that there is no need for a team, but now, if there is no teamwork, I would not be able to do it,” she concluded.  
Jordan Times
October 24th, 2017