Along with the Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation (MSFF) the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT) has recently launched a new initiative that focuses on highlighting the voice of Arab women throughout the region through the platform of film. In Autumn 2015, the Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation will be offering three full-ride Masters of Fine Arts scholarships for Arab female graduate students who hope to study film-directing. The Arab Women Filmmakers program seeks to highlight the voices that are often skewed, dramatized or under-represented in mainstream media, giving women a spotlight to share their real views, experiences and stories.
“Arab female directors have unique stories to tell and are, unfortunately, underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” notes a statement from the MSFF. Only a small pool of Arab women in the film industry have actually received recognition and acclaim for their films, including Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, Saudi Haifaa Al-Mansour for Wajida and the Oscar-nominated Egyptian film The Square, directed by Jehane Noujaim.
“We want these scholarships to be a catalyst, to capture the imaginations of future filmmakers, and to inspire them to reach their goals,” said Hani Farsi, Chairman of the Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation.
Ultimately, the Foundation and the University want to give Arab women with determination, talent and an empowered voice the chance to enhance their skills, learn and get actively involved in the media and film industry. Though participants have already been selected for this coming fall, interested women can email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about future programs.