The first edition of Animate Dubai has been announced for later this year, taking place from December 3rd to 5th at Dubai Design District. The three-day festival will offer a weekend packed with animated films, themed talks, activities, and a chance to meet animation pioneers from all around the world.
Following an overwhelming response to its original call for submissions earlier this year, with over 1000 received, the Animate Dubai team has also now extended the deadline for entries until August 20th. Arab and international animation professionals, amateurs, and students are invited to submit features, shorts, series, experimental, and commercial work across all genres before the new deadline.
Lina Younes, founder and director of The Animation Chamber, explains: “In the past three years, we have grown and looked after a dormant sector here in the UAE, cropping up considerable talent and stimulating creative potential across a range of animation practices and techniques. The time has come to bring a punctual, tangible showcase of quality animation to UAE-based makers and fans alike."
Animate Dubai is supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and has partnered with various entities including d3, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Film & TV Commission, as well as animation festivals such as Annecy (France), Ta7rik (Tunisia), and Cyber Sousa in Xiamen (China) and several regional ASIFA.
Plans to advocate the genre across UAE universities and institutions are also underway, beginning with AUD, AUS, and Zayed University, with aims to encourage emerging local talent and provide them with an opportunity to expand their proficiencies and widen their horizons. Animate Dubai's film market intends to become an annual meeting point for novice animations, fresh talents, distributors, buyers, recruiters, and funding bodies.
Jamal Al Sharif, chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission and managing director of Dubai Studio City comments: “Animation is an extremely important segment of film, and it is great to see an event focused purely on this sector for the first time in the region. The competition will not only raise awareness about the practices and techniques used within animation, but will also bring together local and international talent, as well as students, to network, share ideas, and to meet animation pioneers from around the world.”
For more information on how to apply and to download the application forms, click here.