A creative mix of filmmaking stars from across the Arab world are set to take part in the inaugural On.Dxb festival, which runs November 21-23 at Dubai Studio City - Sound Stages, to support the growth of aspiring Emirati and regional talent and aid the evolution of the Middle East’s film, game, video and music sectors.
With Hollywood heavyweight Spike Lee adding Hollywood pedigree and big screen smarts to the inaugural festival, a cast of regional filmmakers and industry players will impart tips and behind-the-camera knowledge.
At On.Dxb 2019 industry talks, panels, discussions, debates and keynotes will be aimed at up-and-coming entertainment and media industry enthusiasts.
Championing the regional film sector, Afnan Al Qasimi, the creator and writer of new Arabic content TV series, Boxing Girls, will discuss ‘The Power of Writing Female Driven Content’ and ‘Youth Oriented Stories on the Circle Stage in the Industry Arena’; while ‘Inside the Director’s Locker Room’ will bring together Mustafa Abbas, the award-winning writer and director; Ali Mohamed Al Marzouqi, the independent filmmaker and producer at Dhabi Films; and Jac Mulder, a renowned director and writer to share insights on the executive process of casting and filmmaking.
Abbas, whose film Sunset State was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, said: “On.Dxb is an exciting opportunity for the filmmaking and creative communities. The festival is born from a passion to accelerate our film, game, video and music communities via a dedicated platform built to help professionals progress. The quest for improvement never stops and On.Dxb is a real chance for the region’s creatives to evaluate their own journeys.
“In our field, we must keep our eyes and ears open and look for learning opportunities at every corner; we may never get a better opportunity to listen to and learn from a filmmaking legend like Spike Lee.”
A number of UAE-based filmmakers are also involved with On.Dxb, including Asri Bendacha, an indie filmmaker who has flourished in Dubai’s infrastructure. The French-Algerian filmmaker will appear alongside Reshel Shah Kapoor, the award-winning Dubai-based documentary filmmaker, and Rami Jaber for the session Funding to Fruition, How to Raise Funds and Leverage Finance.
Sarah Al Jarman, general manager of Dubai TV, will be joined by award-winning writer, director and producer Pegah Ghaeimi and influencer Safa Srour on the Sessions Stage to examine the issue of gender equality in the panel, How Are Women Changing the Media Landscape.