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The curtain rose on the Abu Dhabi Film Festival Thursday evening with the movie "From A to B". The sophomore feature of Ali Mostafa, ADFF's opening film tells the story of three childhood friends on a road trip from Abu Dhabi to Beirut.Mostafa's other producers include Paul Baboudjian, director of the film development engine Screen Institute Beirut, Abu Dhabi film funding agency Imagenation, and TwoFour54, the Abu Dhabi Media Authority, which last year assumed management of ADFF.For five years now, ADFF has helped service the film development and post-production needs of the region's small-budget "indies" with its Sanad fund, whose annual pot of $500,000 allocates up to $20,000 in development funds per project and $60,000 each to films in post-production.The regional film development hub than matches ADFF's resources is Qatar's Doha Film Institute.CFC was an international co-production market for young Egyptian filmmakers, modelled on Dubai Film Connection, the cornerstone of the market of the Dubai Film Festival (DIFF).The oldest of the region's new breed of film festivals, DIFF is marking its 11th anniversary this year.Unable to create a film fund, DIFF focussed on developing a film market, DFM as it's come to be called.
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