Arab women behind the lens

    When a man achieves something, he must be applauded but when a woman does something out of the ordinary, she must be celebrated.
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    When a man achieves something, he must be applauded but when a woman does something out of the ordinary, she must be celebrated.

    In a patriarchal society, where male heirs are encouraged to pursue their dreams and women are brought up to believe that their place is by the hearth - and in some cases, laws are in place to ensure that they conform - it is often difficult for the latter to achieve anything of significance.

    In such circumstances, when she does something unconventional and out-of-the-box, it deserves to be celebrated.

    This month, Digital Studio reached out to different corners of the Middle East looking for women who had broken the mould and pursued a career in filmmaking.

    These women are, in many cases, the first emerging filmmakers in their respective countries, whether they be Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Dubai. They have had the privilege of being born into "liberal" homes that allowed them to pursue filmmaking.

    But these women have also returned, of their own accord, to the nest in the hope of creating an identity for themselves in their homelands.

    Some of these women look at film as a medium of entertainment while others see it as an agent through which they can ring in change.

    Through our cover story this month, Digital Studio celebrates these women filmmakers of the Arab world. We look at their films, their tools, their challenges, their achievements and what they hope to do in the future.

    We hope you will take a look at the gems we have unearthed and see the huge potential for further growth in film production in the Middle East.

    On another note, we have also noticed the growing bond between two of the fastest growing broadcast and production markets in the world, namely, India and the UAE.

    Increasingly, these countries have realised that the services they bring to the table are not just complementary but could be mutually beneficial in bringing more international work to their doorstep.

    We look at the broadcast and production sectors in each of these markets and tell you why the UAE and India make the perfect partners.

    Vijaya Cherian is the editor of Digital Studio.

    RELATED LINK: Women behind the lens

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