Give a Little, Get a Lot: Crowdfunding in the Arab World

The Innovative Buzz-Word Is Explored at GFF with the Founder of Aflamnah, the first Crowdfunding Site Dedicated to the Arab World

The Innovative Buzz-Word Is Explored at GFF with the Founder of Aflamnah, the first Crowdfunding Site Dedicated to the Arab World

On the night of April 13, the Gulf Film Festival (GFF) will offer a thorough exploration of ‘Crowdfunding,’ the latest opportunity to bring creative projects to life. Aflamnah is dedicated to filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers with big and small ideas and has the potential to empower a whole new generation of professional and emerging artists in the GCC.

Crowdfunding has skyrocketed around the world, with sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter attracting thousands of hopeful fundraisers and pairing them with funders, who may contribute anywhere from tens to thousands of dollars in exchange for exciting rewards.

The Crowdfunding night will take place as part of the Festival’s popular Gulf Film Nights programme under the guidance of Vida Rizq, co-founder of Aflamnah: the first crowdfunding site specifically dedicated to the Arab World.

The interactive session will introduce the concept of crowdfunding, analyze the international growth of the phenomenon, share some best practice examples from across the Globe and create conversation about its merits. Rizq explained: “Our ambition is to get people to participate in the process of creating culture and upping the number and attraction of creative ideas for and from the region. We are delighted that several of the projects that raised funds through Aflamnah have enjoyed international success and won awards including Best Film at the Berlinale for When I Saw You by Annemarie Jacir. We want to be able to celebrate and share many more successes, and we think crowdfunding will become increasingly important and strategic in the coming years.”

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Commenting ahead of the session Samr Husain Al Marzooqi, Dubai Film Market Manager said, “GFF is committed to nurturing grassroots talent and innovative platforms such as Aflamnah will help projects come to fruition. I hope this session opens filmmakers’ eyes to the possibilities and opportunities available to talent across the Region”.

Aflamnah was launched on July 1st 2012 and has since supported over 30 projects, including films, magazines, and art buses. The average contribution to a project is USD140, and to date almost USD 100,000 has been raised from approximately 500 funders. Aflamnah has created partnerships with the Dubai International Film Festival, GFF, and the Middle East Film and Comic Con, and has created a flurry of press, from the New York Times to Al Khaleej newspaper.

The Gulf Film Nights will run from April 12 to 16 during the 2013 festival run. For further information on Gulf Film Nights and other industry initiatives at GFF, please consult the festival website on www.gulffilmfest.com.
Source: Arabian Gazette – AG Reporter

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