Social media has somewhat defined the recent era in bringing people from all corners of the globe closer together, offering numerous platforms to serve a multitude of initiatives ranging from social campaigns to economic missions and beyond.
One concept that has made it to the region is crowd-funding and the launch of Aflamnah (our movies in Arabic) in the UAE earlier this month is an example of how it could take off.
Crowd-funding involves a mass cooperation of individuals who offer financial support as well as funding through other resources in the backing of a project, for example disaster relief, small business, or aspiring filmmakers – the latter being the focal point of Aflamnah.
Founder of Aflamnah, Vida Rizq, spoke to Al Arabiya about the impact she hopes the organization would have on the film industry in the region and how it would encouraging fledgling filmmakers.
“Aflamnah is something that came about because we were passionate about making a specific project happen and when we looked around, we realized that there were probably hundreds if not thousands of great projects around and we wanted to help them too,” she said.
In a nutshell, the company is about “inspiring hearts, minds, and wallets.”
“This digital platform aims to help independent filmmakers, artists, students, geeks, innovators, thinkers and more to raise funds for their creative projects by getting people excited enough to financially support them so that their projects can actually happen,” said Rizq.
“We believe that passion is infectious and it is only when enough thought and hard work has gone into your project will you believe in it enough to be able to influence and inspire others to believe in it too.”
According to Rizq, the regional film industry has grown “phenomenally” within the last five years but there’s still ample room to grow, especially for newcomers.
“We hope crowd-funding will make a difference across the Arab world – what I hope it will do is provide an additional way of getting a film made and where funding is tight, a way to get the money needed to enhance the quality of the finished product.”
Aflamnah made its debut online on July 1 and works in a similar fashion to one of the world’s largest crowd-funding sites, Kickstarter, where donors pledge amounts within a certain time frame after viewing a synopsis about a particular project. Filmmakers currently sharing their work on Aflamnah come from Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon.
While the company aims to stimulate creativity in the Middle East, it hopes to gain international attention as well as supporters, said Rizq.
“We want to encourage people from all walks of life to showcase their ideas, share their dreams and bring them to a global audience.”