As part of MBC Group’s mission to promote young Arab filmmakers, the Original Narrative Short Film Festival hosted its fifth edition, from December 7 to 10, 2019.
The festival was organized and hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD) in partnership with the broadcasting company, MBC Group and Creative Communities Collaborative (CCC).
This year’s event aired 36 films, selected from hundreds of documentary and feature film submissions. Included in the shortlist are productions from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon.
The films will also be competing for MBC’s Hope Award, that will see one filmmaker from each category receiving the award along with a monetary prize.
The university’s festival chair and director, Sophie Boutros commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with MBC Group and CCC to offer a new generation of Arab filmmakers a much-deserved platform. This festival provides participants with the opportunity to not only showcase their work, but also meet and network with a number of world-renowned names in film and TV, from both Hollywood and the Arab world.”
MBC Group’s TV director, Ali Jaber added: “This partnership comes from our belief in the importance of supporting the creative youth of the Arab world, mentoring the filmmakers and TV producers of tomorrow. Support begins from the stage of discovery, to provide platforms for them to showcase their work, right through to training and mentorship through workshops made possible by the support of specialist scholarships.”
This year’s festival also hosted an educational forum featuring talks by renowned names from both, the Hollywood and the Arab world. Guest appearances included the television and film writer, Chris Brancato who is known for his hit series, Narcos. He was joined by drama producer and writer, Chris Keyser as well as screenwriter and producer, David Isaacs.
Rounding up the forum are producer and director, Dara Resnik, film producer and writer, John Altschuler, producer Jason Newman and executive director of MBC Studios, Peter Smith.