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OSN & AFAC Launch Open Call to Invest in Developing Original Series

AFAC and OSN Launch the ‘Writers’ Room' program, Investing in Arab Creator Driven Projects

OSN, the region’s leading TV entertainment company for premium, must-see content, and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) today announced their partnership to launch an open call for the Writers’ Room, a mentorship program designed to foster the development of compelling stories in the Arab region.

As a leading streaming service, OSN is actively seeking creator-led projects that align with their vision of providing engaging content for their audience. The Writers’ Room program offers a unique opportunity for series creators in the Arab region to showcase their talents and pitch their projects for potential development and distribution on OSN's platform.

The program will incubate projects until the development of fully-fledged limited series, while providing mentorship support, follow up, and input from specialists and experts during and in-between residencies. Additionally, the program aspires to create a framework for series-writing in the region that is anchored in the writers’ room method, and that allows for peer-to-peer learning and participation in the creative process. The participating writers will benefit from OSN’s right to a first look at their projects and the opportunity of potentially being selected for further development beyond the residency program.

Joe Kawkabani, CEO of OSN, said: "At OSN, we believe in the power of local storytelling and the incredible talent that exists within the Arab region and are excited to join hands with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) to launch this initiative. This program represents our commitment to nurturing emerging writers and investing in compelling narratives that resonate with our diverse audience. Together, we aim to unlock the untapped potential of Arab storytellers and create a platform for their voices to be heard.”

The Writers’ Room aims to achieve its objectives through the establishment of writers' rooms, enabling the growth of talents that will contribute to the development of new storytellers and high-quality content in the future. The program offers a seven-month timeline for series development and writing, ensuring the creation of robust projects with a higher chance of commissioning. Furthermore, the program provides a diverse pool of experts, including historians, social scientists, as well as researchers, who will enrich the development process and contribute to the creation of multi-faceted, quality content.

Rima Mismar, Executive Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), said: “The initiative marks a significant step in supporting the development of Arab series creators. Through this program, we aim to provide a nurturing environment for emerging talents, bridge gaps in series development, and foster a community of storytellers. By offering mentorship, residencies, and exposure to experts from diverse fields, we aspire to empower writers to create impactful and multi-dimensional narratives that reflect the richness, complexity, and cultural diversity of the Arab region."

In its inaugural edition, the Writers’ Room will incubate and invest in up to five series projects over the course of seven months. Successful applicants will benefit from three in-person residencies, with travel and accommodation covered by the program. They will also have access to weekly online working sessions, one-on-one mentorship with program mentors, and support from experts in relevant fields. The writers will receive final feedback on their fully written episodes from industry professionals, and their projects will have a first look by the commissioning team at OSN.

Applications for the Writer's Room program open May 10th through the AFAC portal. Arab writers living and working in the Arab region are eligible to apply, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or religion. Applicants should possess prior writing experience, preferably in series writing, and submit a series project as part of their application. The deadline for applications is July 7, 2023, at 5:00 PM (Beirut time - GMT+3).

The Writer's Room mentorship program represents a significant opportunity for Arab writers to develop their series projects and gain exposure to industry professionals. AFAC and OSN are dedicated to supporting local talent and promoting the production of high-quality content in the Arab region.

For more information about the Writer's Room program, eligibility criteria, and the application process, please visit the AFAC website at [website link]. Don't miss the chance to be a part of this exciting initiative that aims to shape the future of storytelling in the Arab region.

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