“Creative Consultants” play a pivotal role in Rawi Screenwriters Lab as they carefully go through all the submitted scripts making sure the ones selected are those showing promise and most likely to benefit from the lab.
Following is the list of Rawi Creative Consultants for the past three rounds, in addition to a brief bio for each:
Rawi 2019 Creative Consultants
Aseel Mansour is a Jordanian Filmmaker, born in 1977 in Iraq. He moved to Jordan in 1991, and lived in the UAE between 2004 and 2011 where he worked as a worldwide media strategist for Microsoft. In 2011, Mansour founded ShaShat Multimedia Productions in Amman, where he works as a general manager, executive producer, and director of select shows. He received a Master’s degree in Media Psychology from Walden University (Minnesota, USA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan.
Ayman El Amir is an international script consultant and film producer. He worked as a script consultant for many programs, labs and institutes including TorinoFilmLab, Doha Film Institute, The Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, International Marrakesh Film Festival Atlas Workshop and The Royal Film Commission - Jordan. El Amir consults privately on films and leads several international script development workshops and masterclasses. In 2016, he implemented MAHD Film Lab, a Cairo-based script development program open to filmmakers working on Arab film projects and Arab-European co-production. As a producer, his latest work includes the short fiction, (Fakh), selected for the official competition of Semaine de la Critique at Cannes Film Festival 2019 and the feature documentary “Happlie Ever After”, which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2016.
Margaret Glover’s career spans over theatre, film and television as dramaturg, script editor, writer and producer. Glover is currently seeking finance for Iraqi writer-director Ahmed Yassin’s debut feature, “Hanging Gardens”, which received development support through RawiScreenwriters Lab and Med Film Factory and was selected for CinaGouna Platform 2018. “The Deathless Woman”, scripting and producing collaboration with artist-filmmaker Roz Mortimer, will have its festival premiere in Autumn 2019.
Previous credits include co-editor with Ali Jaberansari on his debut feature, “Falling Leaves”, which premiered at Montreal International Film Festival 2013 and won Federico Fellini Award for best international newcomer at the Tiburon International Film Festival 2014, and co-writer on several international features, including “Shadows in the Sun”, best original screenplay at Houston Worldfest in 2009, and “Aguas Mil”, awarded best Portuguese feature at Indie Lisboa in 2009.
Margaret regularly consults on story and project development for EU Media-funded EKRAN at the Wajda School in Warsaw, Royal Film Commission - Jordan and London’s Southern Exposure Film Fund. She has been a tutor for the Arvon Foundation (UK), consultant for éQuinox (EU), and oversaw development through delivery of the graduation films at London Film School (2008-13).
Nadine Toukan is a producer, development executive, regional learning environment enabler, and a creative advisor to Arab and international film programs. Over the past fifteen years, she has created foundational initiatives and productions toward the evolution of Jordan’s contemporary cinematic movement within the emerging creative economy, with the private and public sectors. Toukan has produced commercially released, award-winning, Oscar-nominated films that include some of Jordan’s most celebrated fiction features: “Captain Abu Raed”, “When Monaliza Smiled” and “Theeb”. She is currently developing a portfolio of feature and series projects.
Nora Alsharif is a Jordanian film director best known for her work on the short films “Wednesday Afternoons” and “Ismail”. After a career as a graphic designer, she turned to her passion for filmmaking and moved to London in 2009 where she obtained a Master’s degree in Directing Film form the University of Westminster. Her graduation film “Wednesday Afternoons” won the Don Quixote Jury Award in Poland and was screened at many festivals worldwide. In 2012, she teamed up with her father who wrote the short film “Ismail”, which was selected to participate at the 11th Berlinale Talent Campus, (part of the Berlin International Film Festival) and went on to premiere at the Palm Springs Short Film Festival and won several awards including Best Short Film at the Alexandria Film Festival. Alsharif currently resides in the US where she is developing her first feature film project.
Rawi 2018 Creative Consultants
Aladdin Qaraqish is a writer who works with TV/Film producers, filmmakers and everyone in the creative industry to tell their stories in the most creative and suitable format possible.
Aladdin writes for inspiration and profession, he believes writing is a means of expression and entertainment. Aladdin focuses on a combination of creativity and promptness; in order to deliver the most innovative and creative content that meets the deadline. Adaptability is an essential skill that Aladdin has, through it, he manages to shape his thoughts and hone his imagination in ways that serve the required goal.
Qaraqish has worked with several production houses and animation studios, mostly in the MENA region, including Rubicon, with whom he developed several series bibles, and worked on various other projects. He also worked with Na3m on developing their Saudi Girl Revolution IP. Aladdin joined Emmy Award Winners Arab Telemedia Group in 2012, as a senior writer on the ambitious Sci-Fi Drama Medina, then he wrote and co-wrote several shows including a Historical Fantasy titled “The Mad Arab”, and a historical show about the renowned Andalusian philosopher “Averroes”. Aladdin recently joined a team of writers to develop Netflix’s first locally produced show in Jordan.
Qaraqish holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Egypt and a Masters’ Degree in Cinematic Arts from the Red Sea Institute for Cinematic Arts, concentrating in Screenwriting.
David Pope is a filmmaker, script consultant and training provider working internationally.
He has worked as script consultant on single projects and slates in US, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Asia including work with Academy Award and BAFTA nominated producers and screenwriters and national film funds. In 2016-2018 four feature films and one television drama for which Pope provided script consultancy services have been greenlit into production.
He is the annual consultant / moderator for the Rotterdam Lab at CineMart and co-founder of Stowe Story Labs.
Pope is the director of advance films with whom he has slate of projects. Currently in development with feature film The Belonging and television drama Reconstruction.
Pope recently completed a commission writing the latest draft of the European co-production thriller Tempelhof and has recently been commissioned to write the international co-production psychological thriller Rulin. Directing credits include the award winning feature film Miles from Nowhere.
Previous script development and training clients include:
BFI, UK Film Council, BBC, BAFTA, National Theatre, British Council, Creative Europe, Cannes Cinefondation, Warp Films, Allfilm, Wajda School, Edinburgh International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Polish Film Institute, Media Business School, Cannes Film Festival, Film London, Lionhead Studios, Xingu Films, Irish Film Board, FAS Screen Training Ireland, Filmbase, MEDIA, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, New Horizons Studio, Estonian Film Institute, Arts Council Malta, London Film Academy and London University amongst many others.
Denise Carlson, USA
Denise Carlson is a producer and development executive with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment business, at companies including William Morris and Disney. At Disney Channel she was the Director of Original Movies, responsible for overseeing the development and production of 47 television movies, including the megahit High School Musical, as well as other highly successful films such as Wendy Wu, Halloweentown and The Cheetah Girls movies.
Under their D’veloping Pictures banner Carlson and her partner Dawn Wolfrom made the movie Bad Hair day for Disney Channel. They are also developing the features Crossing the Sagamore, Wake Up Little Susie and the series The Faerie Chronicles. In addition, Carlson is developing series projects including Unchained, Flirting with Danger and Big Leagues.
Carlson has done consulting work for several companies including ABC, The Hub children’s network and Basil Street Productions, and she is a producing instructor at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. She is proud to be on the board of the LA Femme film festival and to help celebrate films by and about women.
Pamela Biénzobas, Chile/France
Pamela Biénzobas is a Chilean-French film critic, journalist and consultant, graduated from University of Chile's Journalism School. Since 2002 she lives in Paris, where she followed postgraduate film studies at universities Paris X and Paris VIII.
As a freelance writer, she has contributed to a number of daily newspapers (Chile's La Tercera, El Mercurio...), magazines (L'Avant-Scène Cinéma, Filmkrant, Senses of Cinema, Revista IN, GQ Latin America...) and books (Larousse's Dictionnaire Mondial du Cinéma, El novísimo cine chileno…). She co-founded Revista de Cine Mabuse.cl (active until 2016) in 2002. She wrote the booklet "Errancias" for the Ibero-American film association Cinema23, and is an adviser for their Fénix Awards.
Vice-president of the Académie des Lumières, of foreign journalists supporting French cinema through the Prix Lumières. Jury member for the Arab Cinema Center’s Critics’ Awards for 2018. Former vice-president of FIPRESCI (2005-2010), still in charge of coordinating special awards such as the Grand Prix or the FIPRESCI prizes in Cannes.
She has a long experience as a consultant for film funds and special programs, evaluating applications, nominating candidates or coaching and accompanying projects for pitching (Rolex Mentor & Protégé, Doha Film Institute, Biennale College, Torino Film Lab, Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Residency, Abycine Lanza industry event…); as a moderator of Q&As, master-classes and press conferences for film festivals (Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlinale Forum, Gijón Film Festival, Transatlantyk Lodz…), and programming (film cycles, Chilereality documentary festival – now extinct).
Rawi 2017 Creative Consultants
Ahmad Ameen is a screenwriter who began writing in 2006 and after taking several screenwriting training programs at the Royal Film Commission – Jordan (RFC). He has written and produced a few short films before his first feature screenplay Transit Cities, directed by Jordanian filmmaker Mohammad Al Hushki in 2010. Transit Cities premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival and received two awards, the International Association of Film Critics Award/FIPRESCI for Best Feature Film and the Muhr Award Special Jury Prize. In 2011, Ameen wrote his second feature screenplay, A Few Days in Syria, which has received support from the Rawi Screenwriters Lab and the Med Film Factory training programs of the RFC as well as from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).
Ameen is currently writing and producing a weekly cinema show for Al Arabiya news channel, he also teaches screenwriting and Arab cinema. Most recently, he launched the “Arab Cinema Archive Project”, which aims at collecting and digitizing classical Arab films: www.arabcinemaarchive.com
Denise Carlson, USA
Denise Carlson is a producer and development executive with 20 years of experience in the entertainment business. She was at Disney Channel for nine years and was the Director of Original Movies, responsible for overseeing the development and production of 47 television movies, including the megahit High School Musical, as well as other highly successful films such as Wendy Wu, Halloweentown and The Cheetah Girls movies.
Under her supervision, Carlson made the movie Bad Hair Day for Disney Channel. She is also developing the features Crossing the Sagamore, Wake Up Little Susie and The Decoy. She is also developing several series such as Unchained and Flirting with Danger with director Ted Kotcheff and producer Josanne Lovick.
Carlson teaches producing at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. She has done consulting work for The Hub children’s network and for ABC. She is also on the board of the LA Femme film festival, which is dedicated to presenting films that are made by and about women.
Born in 1974 in England, Lucas Rosant now lives and works in Paris. After graduating from a French Business School, he has been soon involved in short film production and sales with the New York University (NYU – Tisch School of the Art). He then worked for the organization and programming of several International Film Festivals, among others La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes), Marrakech International Film Festival (Morocco), Premiers Plans d’Angers (France), Paris Cinema International Film Festival. He also created and headed for 7 years the Paris Project, the co-production and development platform of Paris Cinema IFF. In parallel, he has been or is still consulting and matchmaking since many years for different co-production forums and festival markets as Crossroads - Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Greece), Dubai Film Connection - Dubai International Film Festival (UAE), Open Doors – Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland), Producers Network – Cannes Film Market (France), Produire au Sud - 3 Continents Film Festival (Nantes, France), HAF (Hong Kong Film Financing Forum), Durban Filmart (South-Africa), Berlinale Coproduction Market (Germany), the Cinemart (Rotterdam Film Festival) and Venice Film Market.
Rosant also joined the EAVE network in 2010, the reading committee of the Hubert Bals Film Fund in 2011 and was appointed senior expert for the Euromed Audiovisual III. He recently created his own production and consulting company Melia Films which co-produced The Dream of Shahrazad (François Verster, South Africa, 2014, Best South African Documentary – Durban IFF 2015), Remote Control (Byamba Sakhya, Mongolia, associated producer) and carried out of a diagnosis and strategic development plan for the FESPACO (Festival Panafricain de Ouagadougou) and MICA (African Film Market) commissioned by the European Union in 2013 as well as a collection and an analysis of data on artist's status in ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, the Pacific) for the program ACP-Cultures+ (supported by the European Commission).
Marjorie Bendeck, Germany/Honduras
Marjorie Bendeck Regalado is from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She studied music, communication science and marketing (BA) before moving to Mexico City to engage in film studies at the National Cinematheque and act as producer for photography exhibitions, international events and short films. She completed a graduate course in film production at the International Film School in Cuba (EICTV) in 2002 and worked for the industry office of the Havana Latin-American Film Festival.
In 2003, she honed her skills in script assessment, film development, international financing, sales and marketing at the Recorded Picture Company (Jeremy Thomas) and Hanway Films in London. She then moved to Germany, where she headed the selection committee and the participants' coordination of the Berlinale Talent Campus until 2012.
Her present involvement with the Berlin International Film Festival includes selection work for the special series NATIVe - A Journey into Indigenous Cinema, the Co-Production Market and the Talents' Script Station.
Bendeck has been part of international selection committees and juries, including Locarno Open Doors and the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. Her teaching experience comprises workshops at the EICTV in Cuba as well as the Catalan Open University in Spain, besides pitch training, most recently at Connecting Cottbus in Germany, the Mediterranean Film Institute in Greece and the Guadalajara Talents CoProduction Meeting in Mexico.
In 2015, she completed an MA in organizational psychology.
Bendeck currently works as script and selection consultant for Ateliers du Cinema Européen - ACE Producers Network and evaluates feature film projects for the Creative Europe - MEDIA Development Fund as well as the Berlinale's World Cinema Fund.