A new agreement between the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and the Israel Film Fund places a special focus on promoting tolerance through the medium of film and television production.

Announced September 21, the agreement calls for establishing joint training and development programs for Emirati and Israeli filmmakers in partnership with the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School.

“Under the new agreement, the film commissions will create an intercultural cooperation, creating content with the goal of promoting tolerance, education and developing a deeper cultural understanding between the Emirati and Israeli people,” said Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner Hans Fraikin.

“This new partnership between the UAE and Israel will be extremely beneficial for our burgeoning Emirati film and television community by allowing our talented content creators to broaden their landscapes and develop skills from diverse expertise.”

The agreement will enable Emirati filmmakers to have representation at the International Film Lab for the first time ever. One UAE director will be invited to participate on the jury at the 2021 edition of the annual Film Lab competition.

The partners also agreed on initiatives including bilateral training and education workshops in areas such as script development, and a regional film festival to showcase Emirati and Israeli productions and co-productions.

Several Emirati students will be selected to study in one of three educational tracks at Sam Spiegel.

“The art of film is a universal language which can serve as a bridge between cultures and people,” said IFF Executive Director Lisa Shiloach-Uzrad. “I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for collaboration through which we can learn, create and become closer to our neighbors in the Middle East.”

The agreement comes just a week after the official signing ceremony at the White House for the US-brokered Abraham Accords in which Israel established formal ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.