Sharjah Media City launches film development project 'Emirates Entertainment Experience'

The first of its kind content development project in the film and television production industry in the Arab world will serve as a platform to identify new talent in the filmmaking industry.
Sharjah Media City, Sharjah Media Council, UAE, Arab Format Lab, UAE filmmakers, Filmmaking competition, Training course, Middle east film production

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A press conference organised by Sharjah Media City (Shams) at the Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort and Spa on Wednesday, announced the signing of a contract with Arab Format Lab, and to unveil the Emirates Entertainment Experience, a project that is the first of its kind in film and television production in the Arab world.

HE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams), clarified that the city would be a catalyst that encouraged media and other creative industries to grow and thrive, saying, “We are striving to make this city a world-class centre for media and creativity in the region, a vibrant community and the ideal environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Al Midfa added, “We are meeting you today to unveil a very important contract signed by Sharjah Media City (Shams) and Arab Format Lab, the Arab world’s leading film and television content development and production lab. The aims of this agreement are to develop the film industry’s infrastructure and nurture young Emirati and Arab talents in all areas of film and television production. We also aim to stimulate start-ups and provide them with long-term training, which will reflect our strategic goal. As part of the Emirates Entertainment Experience, Sharjah Media City will launch ‘films made by audience members’ for the first time in the Arab world.

Al Midfa explained that a team of professional filmmakers would inspire talented people who aspire to become part of the film-making world. “As part of this project, we will launch an Emirati film made by audience members. In an interactive community of UAE-based talents, a group of scriptwriters, actors, directors and people who are skilled with respect to audio, cinematography, lighting, music composition, graphics and interior design will compete. The project, which will include training and workshops, will culminate in a ceremony to recognise the winners. This project has been implemented in many countries and has received international awards.”

Khulud Abu Homos, Chairperson and CEO of Arab Format Lab, was thrilled that Arab Format Lab will be part of Sharjah Media City’s vision and efforts to establish a global centre for media and creativity in the region and to incubate start-ups in the filmmaking industry.

In her speech at the press conference, she said, “We are proud to work with Sharjah Media City (Shams) on this world-class project that will develop the infrastructure for filmmaking and encourage talented young people.”

She added that this award-winning content development project has been implemented in many regions including The Netherlands, China, South Korea, North Africa and Turkey, that its success has attracted global attention, and that it has served as a platform to identify new talent in the filmmaking industry.

She explained, “With the launch of the first Arab digital platform committed to the long-term development of the film industry, we begin the first phase, which will include the release of the first Emirati film and Arab filmmaking workshops. The host of the film awards will recognise excellence and creativity in scriptwriting, directing, acting, cinematography, lighting, design, music and graphics.”

She concluded that the project is in line with Sharjah’s keen interest in media, an interest that reflects the vision and leadership of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, announced that the Emirate of Sharjah is keen to develop the media industry and to boost its partnership with major international organisations in line with Sharjah’s media strategy in order to facilitate the exchange of experiences as per the directives of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Sharjah Media Council’s Chairman added that the Emirate continues to make its vision for media a reality with a series of significant creative projects and initiatives in Sharjah that meet the requirements of the media industry. Al Qasimi explained that entrepreneurial innovation is one of the pillars of Sharjah Media City (Shams), which, in a short time, has managed to establish a new concept of a media city in an attractive, comprehensive and sustainable environment.

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