29th March, 2015


An aspiring Egyptian movie maker has swept the board with an impressive five wins at the prestigious Arab Film Studio 2014 awards, which took place in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Mohamed Magdy was presented with the best film award for his short film, Shadows which is about a woman who draws pictures of the deceased, to help reunite them with their families. As part of his prize, Mohamed has secured a 50,000 AED development deal with Image Nation.

In addition to winning the main prize, Shadows also won Best Cinematography, Best Edit, Best Music and Best Sound Design.

“I am truly overwhelmed to have been honored by Arab Film Studio with not one, but five awards!” said Mohamed Magdy. “The experience has been a dream so far and I feel so very lucky that I’ve been able to work with and learn from so many talented and inspirational mentors. Winning this competition has been wonderful for me and I’m really excited to see what happens next.”

During the ceremony at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi’s Vox Cinema, Fakhrah Abdullah, an Emirati mother of eight, won the award for Best Script with her film The Last Petal, while Pakistani/British and Kuwaiti filmmakers Salam Ahmad and Maryam Alabbad won best costume for their films Rendezvous and Alabaya.

The Special Award of the Jury went to Emirati, Shahad Al Shehhi for her film, Kalelis. Arab Film Studio is an Image Nation initiative run in partnership with twofour54. The program aims to give those with filmmaking talent the chance to succeed.

This year’s cycle began with 12 filmmakers taking part in the three-month long Arab Film Studio training program, which included two weeks of masterclasses with leading professionals and specially designed sessions run by twofour54.

That was then whittled down to Thursday’s shortlist of six. The finalists were:

  1. The Last Petal – Fakhrah Abdullah (UAE)
  2. Alabaya – Maryam Alabbad (Kuwait)
  3. Shadows – Mohamed Magdy (Egypt)
  4. Rendezvous – Salman Ahmad (UK)
  5. Kalelis – Shahad Al Shehhi (UAE)
  6. The Parrot – Ali Al Marzouqi (UAE)

The judging panel for the finalists was made up of film professionals including: David Frankel, Director, The Devil Wears Prada, Singer and Actor, David Hasselhoff and Hyde Park Pictures CEO, Ashok Amritaj.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation, said: “Once again we have been blown away by the talent showcased by our Arab Film Studio finalists. To see our candidates show such passion for filmmaking is incredibly inspirational for us here at Image Nation, as well as among our judges. Thank you to everyone who took part and congratulations to all of our winners. We look forward to welcoming the next intake very soon.”