EXCLUSIVE: New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and Jordan’s Royal Film Commission (RFC) are teaming up on a training and mentorship scheme aimed at aspiring female filmmakers in the country.
The U.S. Embassy in Jordan funded initiative is bannered “Hakayaha: Stories of Women in Jordan” and will aim to fund, develop and produce serialized work in the form of docu-series and narrative series.
The initiative will include all aspects of creating serialized work from development and writing through to production and post-production. It will include filmmaker labs that will run for two years and 30 filmmakers from across Jordan will be selected to participate.
The participants will be mentored by a team of NYWIFT directors, producers and writers.
NYWIFT and RFC Jordan are due to sign a Memorandum of Understanding: Joint Creative Guiding Principles at a special event in Cannes on Tuesday.
“New York Women in Film & Television is thrilled to expand our international reach through our partnership with The Royal Film Commission – Jordan, bringing unique support and training opportunities for filmmakers in the Middle East. And what better venue to announce such a program than on the beautiful international melting pot of Cannes?,” said NYWIFT CEO Cynthia López.
She noted that NYWIFT board member Yvonne Russo who has spearheaded the expansion of the body’s international activities and initiated the collaboration between NYWIFT and the RFC.
RFC’s Managing Director Mohannad Al-Bakri welcomed the initiative.
“This collaboration not only reflects our shared commitment to the art of film but also represents a powerful example of the impact that can be achieved through international collaboration. The impact of this initiative will reflect our values that align with NYWIFT in promoting and advocating for the empowerment of women through storytelling,’ he said.
Full details of the “Hakayaha: Stories of Women in Jordan” will be announced at a panel discussion hosted by NYWIFT and the RFC Jordan in Cannes on Tuesday, preceding the MOU signing ceremony.
Speakers will include NYWIFT CEO Cynthia López; RFC Jordan representative Mira Nimri; President of Women in Film GCC Nancy Paton; Venice Film Festival Curator Alessandra Speciale as well as filmmakers Sofia Djama (The Beloved), and Sonia Ben Slama, whose film Machtat is being presented in the parallel Acid section this year.