30th January, 2015


Popular short film competition sees a 300% rise in applicants as young filmmakers vie for prestigious awardArab Film Studio (AFS), Image Nation’s amateur short film contest, which runs in partnership with twofour54, is set to be more competitive than ever before as the number of applicants has tripled from a year ago.

The prestigious competition returns with nine new participants, chosen from hundreds of budding filmmakers from all over the world, vying for the AED 50,000 prize fund and the priceless opportunity to work with Image Nation.

AFS, now in its fourth year, provides promising talents with the training needed to learn the tools of the trade and get a break into the industry.

“I think the calibre of this year’s participants is our best yet,” Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, said. “It’s the most submissions we’ve ever seen for Arab Film Studio – this made our selection process harder of course, but it suggests the standard is going to be exceptional this year.”

“The sheer amount of applicants we received goes to show that programs like these are beneficial to the UAE. Together with twofour54, we are determined to create programs to train aspiring filmmakers to become part of our ever-growing film industry.“ he added.

Maryam Al Mheiri, COO of twofour54, commented: “Arab Film Studio is an excellent opportunity for ambitious filmmakers to develop their skills through world-class training courses. What makes this programme unique is that participants are not required to have extensive experience in producing films before joining and are allowed to experience filming on a tight budget which opens the door for more early industry entrants to take part.”

“As the leading media hub in the region, part of our mission is to ensure young and established talents have access to equal opportunities and Arab Film Studio does just that. I am looking forward to kicking-off the fourth cycle of Arab Film Studio to celebrate the rise of the next generation of filmmaking talents.” Maryam added.

Mohamed J. Al Musharakh is one of three Emiratis taking part in this year’s competition. The 23-year-old said: “Arab Film Studio will give me the opportunity to pursue my passion and goal of becoming a filmmaker – something that I’ve been passionate about since I was a child. I’m hoping it will allow me to progress from an amateur to a professional filmmaker and go on to represent the UAE with my films.”

This year’s contestants are Mohamed Haroun Al Hamadi, 23, from the UAE; Mohamed Zayid Al Hashmi, 22, from Oman; 25-year-old Sudanese Lubna Bagsair; Mariam Obaid Al Zaabi, 22, from the UAE; Mohamed J. Al Musharakh, 23, from the UAE; Sakina Khalil Al Balushi, 24, from Oman; Haya Al Tamimi, 23, from Bahrain; Diane Farah, 29, from Lebanon/Canada; and Omar Adam, 23, from Egypt. In compliance with AFS rules, all are residents of the UAE or a GCC country.