Arab Film Studio (AFS), Image Nation’s amateur short film contest in partnership with twofour54, is returning, and it looks set to be more competitive than ever before as the number of applicants has tripled from a year ago.
Nine new participants, chosen from hundreds of budding filmmakers from all over the world, are vying for the Dhs50,000 prize fund and the opportunity to work with Image Nation.
AFS, now in its fourth year, provides promising talents with the training needed to learn the tools of the trade and get a break into the industry.
“I think the calibre of this year’s participants is our best yet,” Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, said. “It’s the most submissions we’ve ever seen for Arab Film Studio – this made our selection process harder of course, but it suggests the standard is going to be exceptional this year.”
He continued: “The sheer amount of applicants we received goes to show that programmes like these are beneficial to the UAE. Together with twofour54, we are determined to create programmes to train aspiring filmmakers to become part of our ever-growing film industry."
Maryam Al Mheiri, COO of twofour54, commented: “Arab Film Studio is an excellent opportunity for ambitious filmmakers to develop their skills through world-class training courses. What makes this programme unique is that participants are not required to have extensive experience in producing films before joining and are allowed to experience filming on a tight budget which opens the door for more early industry entrants to take part.”
In compliance with AFS rules, all are residents of the UAE or a GCC country. This year’s contestants are:
Mohamed Haroun Al Hamadi, 23, from the UAE
Mohamed Zayid Al Hashmi, 22, from Oman
Lubna Bagsair, 25 from Sudan
Mariam Obaid Al Zaabi, 22, from the UAE
Mohamed J. Al Musharakh, 23, from the UAE
Sakina Khalil Al Balushi, 24, from Oman
Haya Al Tamimi, 23, from Bahrain
Diane Farah, 29, from Lebanon/Canada
Omar Adam, 23, from Egypt.
The programme, which began in January, starts with a three-month, multi-disciplinary training programme held in partnership with twofour54 Tadreeb. During this time, the participants will be given access to leading film professionals that will provide them with insider knowledge of the industry.
They will then be asked to produce a short film to be judged by a panel of esteemed movie experts who will crown one participant with the coveted Best Film Award and present them with a Dhs50,000 development grant.