In a powerful demonstration of the evolution and growth achieved by the UAE film industry, the seventh Dubai International Film Festival on Tuesday hosted 15 Emirati filmmakers whose films – including features, documentaries and shorts – are being screened at the festival.
“These directors are also competing for the first Muhr Emirati awards introduced at the festival this year. Their films include 12 world premieres, and were shortlisted from over 30 entries, underscoring the growing interest of Emiratis in films and in creating a home-grown film industry powered by initiatives like DIFF,” said Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director, Dubai International Film Festival.
The filmmakers who attended a special photo call and later addressed a press conference are: Abdulla Al Kaabi (The Philosopher); Nayla Al Khaja (Malal); Ali Al Jabri (Solo); Saeed Aldhaheri (Rajulan Wa Anza – Laylat Ma Qabl Al Eid); Rashid and Ahmed Bin Shabib (Brownbook Urban Series – Ten Episodes of People Transforming the Region); Muna Al Ali (Ea’ada); Waleed Al Shehhi (Reeh - Wind); Ahmed Zain (Etma – Darkness); Moath Bin Hafez (Hayat Min Sakhar -Life of Stone); Saud Mohammed Merwesh (Soweer); Ali Khalifa Bin Thalith (Ghawas Gaza - Gaza Diver); Rashid Al-Marri (Rasa’el Ela Falasteen - Letters To Palestine); Khalid Al Mahmood (Sabeel) and Nujoom Al Ghanem (Hamama).
A three-member jury, including film critic Samir Farid (president), writer-poet and Riyadh Film Festival veteran Ahmed Al-Mulla and poet/critic Ibrahim Abdul Karim Al Mulla, will select three competition winners to be announced at the awards ceremony on December 19. Introduced this year as a companion to the Festival’s existing Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica awards, the Muhr Emirati Awards features a first prize of Dhs35,000, a special jury prize of Dhs25,000 and a second prize of Dhs15,000.