BFI Film fund supports a brace of Middle East themed feature documentaries
by Naman Ramachandran
- Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? and A Syrian Love Story make successful pitches
Following its latest pitching round, the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Fund has decided to support two Middle East set feature documentaries. The films are: Tomer and Barak Heymann’s Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? [+see also:
film profile], co-directed and co-produced with Alexander Bodin Saphir, that follows the inspirational journey of an Israeli man rejected by his community, but whose HIV diagnosis becomes a catalyst for him to make drastic changes to his life; and Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story [+see also:
film profile], produced with Elhum Shakerifar, a political love story set in Syria, Lebanon and France, where two revolutionaries struggle for freedom on a journey of hope, dreams and despair for their homeland, each other and an unfolding civil war.
The projects were selected from a short list of projects submitted to the BFI for support through the second round of the Film Fund's documentary pitch meetings, in partnership with Sheffield Doc/Fest. The short listed teams were asked to give a seven-minute pitch followed by questions from a panel comprising Director of the BFI Film Fund, Ben Roberts and Senior Executive, Lizzie Francke; BFI Creative Director Heather Stewart; Sheffield Doc/Fest Deputy Director Charlie Phillips; Dogwoof co-Founder and CEO Anna Godas; and Commissioning Editor Documentaries for Dutch Public Broadcaster VPR, Barbara Truyen.
Roberts said, “It’s as difficult as ever to predict which projects will resonate with cinema audiences, and the calibre of the shortlist was very strong, but the presentations for these two projects were particularly moving and quite profound. We’re excited to be involved with both of them.”