Image Nation Abu Dhabi announced the winner of the fourth edition of its short film competition, Arab Film Studio (AFS), at an awards ceremony in the capital last night.
Omar Adam, a 23-year old film fan living in Dubai, scooped the top prize for Best Film, as well as Best Editing for his film 'Five', which follows a young man as he agonisingly waits for important medical test results.
Adam commented: "It feels incredible to have won - it hasn't quite sunk in yet. It has been a long but extremely fulfilling journey and I'd like to thank Image Nation and everyone who took part in Arab Film Studio for the fantastic experience."
A total of five awards were given to winning participants, with fellow competitor Diane Farah winning Best Cinematography and Best Script for her film 'Among Others', and Lubna Bagsair winning the Grand Jury Prize for her film 'Astray'.
This year’s competition was judged by a panel of industry experts, including Emirati filmmakers, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Ali Mostafa, Majid Al Ansari and Nawaf Al Janahi. From Hollywood, actor David Hasselhoff and producers Laurie Macdonald and Ashok Amrtiraj also helped decide who should be awarded the grand prize.
The Arab Film Studio was created by Image Nation in 2011 in partnership with twofour54 to develop UAE nationals’ and residents’ filmmaking skills. The programme was expanded to include documentary filmmakers, with the launch of Arab Film Studio Docs earlier this year.
The short film competition takes finalists on a six-month filmmaking journey that mirrors the real process of developing and producing a film.
As a prize for winning Best Film, Adam received an exclusive internship opportunity in a national or international production with Image Nation. Past winners of the competition have gone on to screen their films at prominent festivals around the world, while a number of participants have gone on to work with Image Nation on some of their biggest films, including 'He Named Me Malala', which is now screening in selected theatres across the UAE.
Earlier this month, Image Nation announced the launch of Arab Film Studio 2016 and are now looking for budding filmmakers from the across the UAE to apply. Those interested in next year’s competition can apply here.