16 December 2019: Image Nation Abu Dhabi has named Mansour Ahmed, Mildred Garcerant and Amer Al Mahri as the 2019 winners of Arab Film Studio, its flagship training program for aspiring filmmakers.
Mansour Ahmed was awarded Best Narrative Short Film for ‘Asli’, which follows an Emirati marriage detective who investigates a potential bridegroom with surprising results. Ahmed said, “I really would like to thank Image Nation for giving me this opportunity. I applied to Arab Film Studio three times because I truly believed that this program would be my first step into the storytelling industry. I felt such a connection with the work that they do. I’m a huge believer in Arab Film Studio and I really encourage everyone who has a passion for film to apply next year.”
Mildred Garcerant won Best Documentary Short Film for ‘In the Shadows’, which recreates the family situation when one member is detained for thirty days in a 6 sq.m. cell with thirty others. “I’m feeling so happy and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Arab Film Studio workshops all year. I cannot stress enough the importance of the tutoring we received, which really helped to build my confidence in what I was doing. The human touch makes all the difference,” said Garcerant.
Mansour Ahmed and Mildred Garcerant win a prestigious internship placement with Image Nation, where they will develop their filmmaking skills by working closely on Image Nation’s upcoming projects.
The award for Best Script was given to Run Salem Run by Amer Al Mahri, who wins 100,000 AED to bring his script to life. He said: “I always say I want to see my characters come to life, so I’d like to thank Image Nation for opening the door and giving all of us in the scriptwriting program this opportunity to make our dreams come true.”
“Arab Film Studio continues to grow from strength to strength. The quality of works that these creative filmmakers produce every year is outstanding, and many of our more than 150 former participants have gone on to successful careers,” said His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation. “Arab Film Studio is developing a significant legacy, reflecting Image Nation’s fundamental mandate to build a sustainable regional industry by inspiring and nurturing the next generation of creative professionals.”
The awards ceremony featured a special screening of Ice Cream, a 12-minute film based on last year’s winning script by Salma Serry. Directed by Jaafar Almadhoon, also a former Arab Film Studio participant, the script was brought to life with Serry’s production grant from Image Nation.
“Participating in AFS was a life-changing experience, and the process of turning my script into a film has been an eye-opening and inspiring journey,” Serry said. “I’m very thankful for all I’ve learnt from the program, the production grant from Image Nation, and the support of all the talented collaborators on this project.”
Arab Film Studio is an in-depth training program that provides aspiring filmmakers with the opportunity to hone their craft and learn from industry experts through in-depth workshops and mentoring. Now in its eighth year, Arab Film Studio offers programs in Narrative, Documentary, Scriptwriting, Storytelling and Corporate film as well as a special summer program for high school students. Earlier this year, AFS Mawaheb was launched as a dedicated internship programs which will provide on-set experience during the filming of a brand new GCC soap opera, produced by MBC Studios, twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. Films created during Arab Film Studio have been shown over 400 times at film festivals around the world and won 25 awards.
Judging the entries were film industry experts including regional filmmakers Mohamed Saeed Hairb, Yasir Al Yasiri, Ali Marzouqi, Scandar Copti and Nawaf Al Janahi.
The ceremony was held at the Marriott Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi.
About Image Nation Abu Dhabi
Image Nation Abu Dhabi is an award-winning film and entertainment company which has built its reputation on breaking boundaries and unleashing imagination. It creates films, TV series, documentaries and entertainment for consumers throughout the world and is the first UAE company to have multiple productions stream globally on Netflix. Its success spans the globe – screening content at over 400 international film festivals and receiving the industry’s highest honors, including two Academy Awards, a BAFTA and an Emmy.
Image Nation has a strong track record of producing high-quality productions through a combination of local talent and international expertise. The company encourages original thought and curiosity while providing a platform for inspiration and practical training through its robust development program, Arab Film Studio.
Its mission is to help build the film and entertainment industry across the GCC and MENA – a pioneering ambition in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision to shape a competitive, sustainable and globally open economy. Image Nation enables all those who engage with it to become guardians of culture and ambassadors of change.
Through its content, Image Nation is creating opportunities for local talent to tell their stories and work on projects that provide them the tools to establish and sustain a local industry.
For further information, please contact:
+971 56 503 4850
+971 (0) 2 234 4600