Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 26 February 2024 – The Netflix-AFAC Creative Training Program for emerging female talent in the creative filmmaking process has wrapped up this week, with 37 women involved in the filmmaking industry visiting Netflix’s production hub in Tres Cantos, and learning about global best practices from experts in the industry.


The production hub visit follows three-day workshops in each of Cairo, Dubai, and Jeddah that took place in November, and introduced aspiring talents to scriptwriting and the creative process of filmmaking by established female filmmakers from the Arab region. In the final leg, the participants traveled to Madrid, meeting talent that work in the audiovisual ecosystem – learning from their shared experiences, understanding more about cinema in Spain, visiting Netflix’s content hub in Tres Cantos, and widening their network through writing and filmmaking activities, as well as talks with Casa Árabe, the Spanish Film Academy, Spain’s Ministry of Digital Transformation and Public Function, Spain’s Ministry of Industry, the Association of Women in the AV sector (CIMA) and the Madrid Film Office. The participants also had the opportunity to meet with producer Emma Lustres, and showrunner, Gema R. Neira, gaining valuable insights into today’s global filmmaking industry.


“The program was a great experience not only for the quality of information being taught, but also for meeting influential women from different areas in this industry and providing an interactive and fun experience. Seeing the drive and initiative by Netflix and AFAC to provide opportunities for great stories by talented women all over the world is truly inspiring.”, said Maha Hani, one of the participating women from Saudi Arabia.


“As we embark on our 17th year of operations, we continue our active commitment to break stereotypes and champion women’s voices across the Arab region, creating avenues for the production of bold works that spark societal change in the longer-term. In filmmaking more particularly, we are extremely pleased with this renewed partnership with Netflix, through which we can build on this commitment and instill technical capacities in young women talents of the region”, stated Rima Mismar, Executive Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC.

Netflix has been investing in knowledge transfer and building the talent pipeline in the region through content on the service, financial grants and upskilling initiatives, providing both new and established voices a platform to break through in the industry.

Netflix is a long-term partner to the creative community, focusing on talent development and skills building to support the industry and help grow the next generation of talent. In the region, it is investing heavily in building new pathways for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry and working with industry partners to provide creators with the tools they need to tell the best version of their stories

“As a long-term partner to the creative community, we’re focusing on developing the skills of a new generation of talent primed to make a mark in the regional film and TV industry. Partnering with the right entities is an important part of this as we strive to achieve meaningful change, and we’re proud of the impactful work we’re delivering with long-standing partners like AFAC who have experience creating tangible opportunities for underrepresented voices and making the industry more inclusive and accessible,” said Nuha El Tayeb, Content Director, Turkey, Middle East & Africa at Netflix.


The ‘Women in Film’ program welcomed candidates from the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait. Netflix remains committed to amplifying women’s stories, building the talent pipeline and supporting Arab women filmmakers through its ‘Because She Created’ initiatives. The ‘Women in Films’: Introduction to the Creative Process program is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, which exists to help build new opportunities for underrepresented communities within entertainment.


About Netflix:

Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment services with over 260 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time.

About The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC was founded in 2007 through the initiative of Arab cultural activists as an independent foundation to support individual artists, writers, researchers, intellectuals, as well as organizations from the Arab region working in the field of arts and culture. Since its launch, AFAC’s programs have steadily expanded to cover cinema, photography, visual and performing arts, creative and critical writings, music, documentary film, and research, workshops and other cultural events. Based in Beirut, AFAC works with artists and organizations all over the Arab region and the rest of the world.

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