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Talent Days

DECEMBER 12— 13, 2021


Download the Talent Days Schedule

Taking place on December 7-8, Talent Days is the opportunity to develop skills and insight to take projects to the next level, touching on everything from production to financing. Led by industry experts invited to share their experience and give updated in film production, financing, and distribution. In various sessions across two days, they will share their industry expertise and inspiration to help emerging filmmakers expand their knowledge and skills for a competitive edge in the international market.

Pre-registration is mandatory and open to producers, directors, or scriptwriters only. Capacity is strictly limited to 250 participants, and access to the Talent Days is on a first-come-first-served basis.



The Business of Filmmaking + The International Film Circuit

By Sydney Levine

Combining art and business can be tricky but because filmmaking is a public art, its commercial viability is proof of success. Filmmakers need to understand how the business side of filmmaking works in order to put themselves into play as they create, then show and finally distribute their work to a public audience who pays and whose attention is the final judgement which determines the filmmaker’s reputation.


Film Criticism: How to Give it, How to Receive it

By Fahad Alesta & Khalid Rabeei

Film criticism helps films go beyond their intended audiences, encouraging critical thinking and deepening our understanding of films. It guides us about which film to watch, how to watch them.. and how to think about them. In this workshop, Fahad and Khalid give a thorough session on the delicate process of film criticism from both the giving and receiving ends. 


ABCs of Post-Production

By Sahbi Kraiem & Nadia Touijer

Sometimes perceived as a purely technical step, post production was wrongly dissociated from any artistic contribution consistent with the universe and the style of the film. Of course, the post-production chain must ensure technical coherence, but always in line with the point of view, style and artistic aspirations of the film and the director. 

This workshop sets itself the objective of retracing the workflow of the post production, its  needs,its requirements and it’s various parameters. Always under the host’s supervision from the point of view of the choices of meaning which implies a scenario and an artistic vision of an author.


DEC 13, 2021  10:00 – 12:00 VENUE: Souk Cinema

Carnaval City w/ Wael Abu Mansour


Film synopsis: Masood decides to leave his town for good, but when his car breaks down en route, his plans begin to go awry. He tries to fix it in an auto shop owned by Sufyan, who disappears suddenly. Masood finds himself pursuing Sufyan in an abandoned theme park turned hotel that threatens to alter his life forever. 


DEC 12, 2021  11:30 VENUE: Souk Talks Room

The Art of Nonfiction Storytelling


Rania Rafei

Fairouzeh Khosrovani

Faisal Alotaibi

Rashid Almasharawi 

Moderator: Bentley Brown

This panel combines a diverse group of filmmakers, who told true stories in various typical and idiosyncratic ways. From the deeply personal to the purely observational, their films demonstrate how while the term “documentary” has refused to mean something consistent, its authenticity as a mode of seeing is what makes it an artform that the camera solely can never replace. 

DEC 12, 2021  13:00  VENUE: Souk Talks Room



Charlotte Saurat
Julie Tingaud
Claude Mouriéras
Raissa Lahcine

Moderator: Jowaher Alamri 


Whether vocational training programs or graduate studies: challenges and ambitions. This is at the heart of this panel which brings together representatives of the best film schools in France. It will be a question of the practical methods in each school, and of the reflection on the cinema schools that the kingdom can accommodate.

DEC 12, 2021  14:00 – 15:00 VENUE: VOX Cinemas Souk

How Streaming is Disrupting Entertainment Media


Khaled Benchouche – VP Content and Cofounder Starz Play

Tareq Al Ibrahim – Director of MBC1 and Drama

Karim Sarkis – Partner, Strategy & Middle East

Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah – Chairperson and CEO, National Creative Industries Group

Moderator: Houda Koussa


A discussion about the change in trends in the media industry and how streaming has and is disrupting traditional TV. Is this a lasting effect o is this a fad. Has the recent pandemic escalated the change in consumption or was this to be expected. These are just some of the issues raised during this in-depth discussion about the Media Industry.  

DEC 12, 2021  14:30 VENUE: Souk Talks Room

Arthouse + International Cinema


Butheina Kazim (Cinema Akil, Dubai)

Hania Mroue (Metropolis Cinema, Beirut)

Talal Afifi (Sudan Film Factory, Khartoum)

 Moderator: Zeina Sfeir


What is Arthouse cinema? What is an independent film? How are arthouse films distributed? How is arthouse cinema related to the International Film industry and the international film circuit? At what point does the niche market of an arthouse film transition into the commercial realm?

The speakers in this panel run arthouse cinemas in Dubai, Beirut, and Khartoum. 


They’ll shed light on the relationship between arthouse cinema and international exhibition and distribution in their local and regional contexts.

DEC 13, 2021  10:00 VENUE: Souk Talks Room

Writing for TV, Web, Cinema – Hosted by Telfaz11


Ali Kalthami

Ibrahim Khairallah

Meqdad Alkout 

Malik Nejer 

Moderator: Abdulrahman Khawj, Netflix


Does writing for a YouTube channel differ from writing for the cinema or longer format such as episodic TV/web series? What distinguishes a web series from a TV series? How is a YouTube sketch different from a short film? We ask these timely questions with humility and a particular focus on the script. We’ll hear first-hand experiences from experts in terms of how they navigate across various formats – and how their writing process adjusts to the exhibition platform. This conversation is relevant in our increasingly digital milieu and in this historic juncture (advent of cinema) – and it’s also fitting to a wider international debate about post-COVID streaming and distribution. 


Ultimately, the moving image starts with the script. Does it matter where we see it?

DEC 13, 2021  13:00 – 14:00 VENUE: Souk Talks Room

Regional Content that Resonates – Sharing our Stories Globally


Suha Al Khalifa – Writer, Bahrain, UK

Hani Osama – The Producers, Egypt

Mohamed Hefzy – Film Clinic, Egypt

Moderator: Lina Matta


Creating content that can travel, what is the magic. An in-depth analysis of storytelling and content in the region, is staying true to our own heritage and stories the key to alter perception and attract foreign audiences.

DEC 13, 2021  14:30 VENUE: Souk Talks Room

Talashi Film Collective


Mohammad Aldhahri  

Hussam Alhulwah

Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan

Fahad Alesta

Moderator: Hana Alomair


Founded in 2008, Talashi Film Collective brought 9 young professionals in their mid-late 20s together to make short films to screen in film festivals of neighboring countries a decade before cinemas opened in Saudi Arabia. Talashi produced numerous shorts, including Sunrise/Sunset (2009), which won both the Muhr Arab Special Mention and the FIPRESCI Prize awards at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2009.

KEYNOTES (Hosted by MBC Group)

DEC 12, 2021  10:00-11:00 VENUE: VOX Cinemas Souk

Keynote: Hani Abu Asaad 

Language: EN

DEC 12, 2021  11:30-12:30 VENUE: VOX Cinemas Souk

Keynote: Chris Keyser

Language: EN

DEC 13, 2021  10:00-11:00 VENUE: Project Market Room

Keynote: Mohammed Al-Daradji

Language: EN

DEC 13, 2021  11:30-12:30 VENUE: Souk Talks Room 

Keynote: Cherien Dabis

Language: EN


DEC 12, 2021  10:00 – 12:00 VENUE: VOX Al-Balad 2

Making short film w/ Claude Mouriéras (CineFabrique)

Registration ← via [email protected]

Language: EN

DEC 12, 2021  15:30 – 17:00 VENUE: SOUK TALKS ROOM

Acting + Casting

(hosted by MBC Academy)

Osama Alqess

Language: AR

DEC 13, 2021  15:30 – 17:00 VENUE: SOUK TALKS ROOM

XR Storytelling + Content Creation

(hosted by Ithra)

Filipe Martin Gomes 

Simon Benson 

Language: EN


The Immersive Storytelling Masterclass will explore how narratives have been developing into a key approach to engage audiences and generate valuable experiences. Storytelling is fundamentally altering the way people interact with each other and captivate audiences. The masterclass will introduce the theme, will take the audience in the storytelling development journey and will engage the audience in an open discussion about how to use this narrative tool to create empathy.