Three Emirati filmmakers have reached the final of Image Nation and twofour54’s amateur film competition, Arab Film Studio, including mother of seven, Fakhrah Abdullah.
The three participants, who are joined by a UK/Pakistani expat, a Kuwaiti and an Egyptian, will attend an award’s ceremony held at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for the first time in the competition’s history.
Fakhrah, 34, from Fujairah, whose short film tells the story of a wheelchair bound boy, said: “I am overwhelmed at the news that my film has been selected as one of the final six. It’s been an incredible few months learning from industry experts and getting a behind the scenes, up-close look at the film industry. I’m lucky to even get this far in the competition, winning would just be the cherry on top!”
Six awards will be given out during the event, including the coveted Best Film which includes a Dhs50,000 prize fund and a chance to work with Image Nation on future projects.
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation said ahead of the award ceremony: “Arab Film Studio is one of my favorite events of the year – it’s a chance for the UAE to see the next generation of filmmakers and this year we have some well-deserved finalists.
“Our new partnership with ADFF to host this year’s award ceremony is great for all our participants who will get the chance to screen their hard work in-front of film industry professionals. I wish the best of luck to all of them.”
This year’s finalists, chosen by a panel of judges including David Hasselhoff, include Ali Al Marzouqi from the UAE; Maryam Alabbad from Kuwait; Mohamed Magdy from Egypt; Salman Ahmad from the UK and Shahad Al Shehhi from the UAE.
Last year, Sara Saber from Egypt won the top prize and has gone on to screen her final film, In Her Eyes, at festivals around the world, including the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco.
Three of the AFS participant’s films, Shadows by Mohamed Magdy, Kalelis by Shahad Al Shehhi and Taboo by Aisha Al Hammadi (not a finalist) have also qualified for ADFF’s Emirates Film Competition. The Arab Film Studio award’s evening will be held on October 30.
Full list of films on the next page...
Ali Al Marzouqi (UAE)
A lonely businessman searching for a parrot buys one from a questionable source. He is attracted to the intelligence of this talking parrot and over time builds a friendly relationship with it. However this friendship finishes with a strange and unexpected end.
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Fakhrah Abdullah (UAE)
This film tells the story of a child that ends up wheelchair bound after an accident. His mum tricks him into believing he will recover, despite the chances of this being slight. After many years, he is still not able to walk, but finally realizes that his mum played a vital role in him having a life full of happiness and hope.
Maryam Alabbad (Kuwait)
Set in Kuwait, 1938, a young girl dreams of going to school but must fight against social stigmas of the time, and her father who believes a girls life is more purposeful in the home.
Mohamed Magdy (Egypt)
A story about a female painter who delivers messages from the dead to their beloved, seeking for the opportunity to deliver her own message to her deceased parents.
Salman Ahmad (Pakistani/UK)
Two strangers with family and work issues on their mind meet randomly at the airport when their flights are delayed. In their ensuing conversation, they find comfort in each other and vow to make the right choices going forward.
Shahad Al Shehhi (UAE)
A young colorless (black & white) girl struggles in accepting herself and feels unfortunate for the fact she is deprived of having the privilege of wearing colorful clothes and makeup. Whatever she wears, its colors fade away. Her only way to play with colors is through her talent of painting. When a young blind girl visits, she is forced to see the world through her eyes.