Home Business Award-Winning UAE-based Film Production Pioneers Female-Led Storytelling in the Middle East
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Award-Winning UAE-based Film Production Pioneers Female-Led Storytelling in the Middle East

Desert Rose Films, elevates extraordinary women affecting real change in the Middle East, launches its new website and lifts Fujairah-based film, ‘Mountain Boy’, off the ground in line with Autism Awareness month…

by uma

Desert Rose Films (DRF), home to the untold stories and hidden heritage of the Middle East, has revamped its online hub with a brand new website. Featuring a cultural canon of original, independent and female-led productions as well as a mentorship scheme for rising talents of the region, DRF offers an extraordinary journey through profound storytelling.

Founded in 2014 by Nancy Paton, an award-winning Polish-Australian screenwriter, director, producer and writer with nearly three-decades experience in the film, TV and writing industry, DRF has evolved as much as the region has over the years, remaining cognisant of the each generation’s needs and thus producing content that meets those needs.


“Empathy, understanding and education – this is what drives Desert Rose Films. We are giving women in the region a voice both in front of and behind the camera – creating a movement of organic, dynamic and compelling storytelling from a new perspective. Our commonalities unite us and our diversity emboldens us,” says Founder, Nancy Paton.


Currently in the pipeline, in line with Autism Awareness month, is Mountain Boy, a live-action feature film based on the award-winning UAE children’s book The Boy Who Knew the Mountains written by Emirati-Australian author Dr. Michele Ziolkowski. Ostracized by villagers who don’t understand his differences, a young boy with Autism lives alone in the mountains of Fujairah. His special affinity for the environment and his super ability to make sense of the natural world takes him on adventures throughout the UAE. Using his rare talents to help people around the country, he gains the confidence he needs to return to his family. In line with DRF’s mission to support and champion local talent, the film includes participation from Emirati Director Eman Al Sayed and Emirati Producer Raihana Al Hashmi.


DRF is also a hub for incubating untapped creatives. Its established mentorship programme brings the most discerning talents in the industry together. DRF takes pride in giving people, from all backgrounds, the right skills, expertise and space to amplify their potential and thrive. This is an opportunity for anyone with a story to tell, to learn and lead with a team who amplify potential and bring visions to life.


“The positive impact our work has made already is only the tip of the iceberg. We wouldn’t be able to make strides without the contribution and support in the region. We encourage anyone interested in the industry to contribute, whether through investment, volunteering or participating in our mentorship program. What we are are trying to achieve is bigger than us – we are creating change and mobilising support for female filmmakers in the future, here and everywhere. It is essential for us to proactively embolden the independent film industry in the region and create these opportunities for women and give them a safe space to tell their stories and the freedom to see their visions come to life through the medium of film – which is such a powerful tool,” adds Paton.


DRF also offers investment options for those interested in getting involved behind-the-camera, through innovative and pioneering ways. “It’s important to us that we equally support our investors, by walking them through the process, having complete transparency and demonstrating real returns – both financially and in the women we are mentoring. We have a number of projects in the pipeline and it’s an incredibly exciting time for DRF,” states Paton. DRF is the first production company in the Middle East to offer the use of blockchain technology, allowing investors to take advantage of the increasing value of digital currencies and continually earn revenue way past a project’s release.



Founded in 2014 by Abu Dhabi-based screenwriter, director and producer Nancy Paton, Desert Rose Films is an award-winning film production company seeking to deepen the understanding of the region and the women creating change by providing an alternative view with new voices and perspectives. DRF operates from Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, London and Australia with a slate of both feature films and TV shows in development in these regions. DRF believes that stories have the power to change minds and ignite action – supporting, mentoring and developing projects of substance and significance for the generation of today and tomorrow.


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