Digital Studio: What have been some of your significant milestones and successes over the recent past?
For over 10 years, the UAE’s media industry has allowed me to witness and be part of a big movement from TV, to Emirati films and drama, to the upcoming trend of digital and online content creation. A significant milestone has been the combination of my professional experience and creating and managing my own company. Working in Europe for a while, returning to serve my country and help grow and evolve the media sector. On a personal level, I have embraced many challenges, which led to directing and producing several local and international projects and have been involved in many community initiatives.
Digital Studio: What have been some of the biggest challenges faced recently by filmmaker and content creators?
The challenges are very low and they are being reduced regularly with the government’s support, and the help and provision of several entities to make the industry grow. What I think is the most challenging obstacle would be obtaining locally the experience and knowledge to create high standard work and access to proper productions to be able to go international. The knowledge is mandatory, especially to grow, expand, create out-of-the-box ideas and reach international standards. Stating that we have all the knowledge in the meantime is firing back and not allowing proper productions to see the light specially from those who were the first and should be leading and be the best at what they do.
Digital Studio: In your opinion as a filmmaker and industry expert, what can be done to stimulate the local production industry?
We have many people in line, who in my opinion, can do better projects, including myself. But because they are the first, they are being used as a benchmark, and we need to allow others to collaborate and produce even better work. I would rather see a thousand filmmakers and producers instead of just ten, and to have a proper industry rather than claiming the existence of one by few.
Digital Studio: What does Dubai offer to attract international productions?
Dubai offers an amazing spectrum of products and ease of film production. And clearly, we have the best ecosystem – allow me to elaborate. We have many outdoor locations between the sea, desert and mountains from a natural point of view. Combined with our beautiful city of high towers and old towns too makes it an interesting concept and a perfect spot for anyone looking for a multinational community. Keeping in mind, during the heat of the summer season, Dubai Studio City has the biggest sound stages in the MENA region and a water rank tanked among the top five internationally. And not to forget the talent and its diversity, Dubai is an ideal location to shoot.
Digital Studio: As a film professional, what are you most excited about in the coming months?
I think the film industry is picking up with many training courses and initiatives by the many media and film entities in the UAE. I think things are picking up on a faster pace, the number of content creators are increasing, and there is major interest from the international market to do productions in the country, specifically in Dubai.
Digital Studio: In your opinion, what can be done to attract and retain women in film and broadcasting?
I can’t think of anything specific that can be done. Women who aspire to be in this sector will stay. When there is passion, they will succeed.