Aflamnah launches Arabic website
Louise Duffy | 12-12-2012

Aflamnah, the first crowdfunding initiative dedicated to the Arab world, has launched an Arabic version of its online platform supporting people to find funding for their ideas including film, games, television, art, music, photography and fashion.

Aflamnah was created to engage the public to get behind an idea from the beginning to help it reach a wider audience.

This new step will increase the number of projects received in both languages, grow the number of visitors to the site, and encourage the non-English speaking communities to get involved.

Aflamnah Principal Founder, Vida Rizq said: "We are very excited to have launched the Arabic platform and it's a new milestone for Aflamnah to help us build on the success of the past five months. To date we have supported 17 projects including features, shorts, documentaries, a magazine, and a mobile art bus. It is really hard to know where the projects are going to come from next. The best moment is when a new idea registers and the second best moment is when contributions are made".

In a bid to build on the talent and creativity in the region, Aflamnah focuses on projects for the Arab world by Arabs or by individuals or organisations that care about cultures, societies and people who live in any of its countries. The premise is that an idea has to start or end in the Arab world.

People must post the information related to their idea via the Aflamnah website and once the idea has met with the guidelines they are given access to make their project live on the site. The idea owners set a funding target and make it clear what the money will be used for. They also select their funding period at 30, 60 or 90 days. They set rewards related to the contributions being made. And they need to create a video to explain their idea and most of all inspire people to take part. Aflamnah has no ownership over the projects and acts to help support projects to get successfully funded.

When I saw You by Annemarie Jacir became one of the most successful projects on Aflamnah. The project crowdfunded for money it needed for marketing and distribution. The film doubled its target through its campaign and raised over $10,000. it had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, and won the International Federation of Film Societies Don Quixote Award at Carthage International Film Festival. In addition, it received Best Arab Film award at Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It is the official submission of Palestine to the Best Foreign Language Film in the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.

Aflamnah has been set up in partnership with Virtuzone, Fujairah's Creative City Free Zone in the UAE and is supported by the Dubai International Film Festival and Gulf Film Festival. Aflamnah also has an advisory committee that includes Virtuzone Chairman Neil Petch, DIFF and GFF artistic director Masoud Amrallah Al ali and twofour54's Chief Legal Officer, Greg Sweeting.