5th February, 2016


Arab Film Studio programme increases to include scriptwriting competition

Abu Dhabi, Feb 03, 2016: Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading entertainment and media companies in the Middle East, has announced the expansion of its training and development division for 2016 with a brand new scriptwriting competition for budding filmmakers.

In partnership with the Dubai Film Market, the industry arm of the Dubai International Film Festival and the leading industry platform in the region, Image Nation’s long-standing Arab Film Studio (AFS) program will launch AFS Scriptwriting this month.

Alicia Gonzalez, Head of Training and Development at Image Nation, said: “Following the success of our Arab Film Studio programs we are excited to launch AFS Scriptwriting in partnership with DFM. DFM have long supported Arab filmmakers and alongside Image Nation are committed to finding and developing local talent.”

The program will be a 5-month long learning program which will include a 3-week intensive workshop focusing on all aspects of scriptwriting –from story concept to character development. This will be followed by a 3-month assignment, where participants will be asked to conceive a short film screenplay using their new found skills.

The Dubai Film Market at the 13th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival this December, will provide significant opportunities for local talent to connect with filmmakers from the international film industry. It will host a series of masterclasses, one-to-ones and networking sessions designed for emerging talent to learn further from executives attending the festival and securing exposure for their projects.

The winner of this year’s program will secure funding of 100,000 AED, awarded by Image Nation and the Dubai Film Market.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director, commented on the festival’s collaboration with Image Nation and the importance of ongoing support for the region’s budding talent: “One of the Dubai International Film Festival’s core objectives is to provide a platform for Arab cinema and to support home-grown talent around the region. Following the success of the Samsung SHRT FLM CNTST, we are always keen to launch initiatives that are open to all residents in the UAE providing more fantastic opportunities for talented creative individuals. Image Nation is key to helping us make this happen and with the expansion of their training and development division, together we can support and nurture the next generation of filmmaking talent”. The scriptwriting program adds a third arm to Image Nation’s successful short film competition series, which now hosts Arab Film Studio narrative which launched in 2012, and Arab Film Studio Docs, now in its second year.

Winners of previous Arab Film Studio competitions have gone on to win international awards for their short films. Emirati Amna Al Nowais winner of AFS Docs, scooped top prizes at DIFF and the prestigious SF Shorts in San Francisco for her short film, Omnia–a first-hand account of a young Egyptian woman coming to terms with the fact she was circumcised as a child.

Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, said of the successful Arab Film Studio franchise: “We are excited to start 2016 with the expansion of our training and development division. With the increased focus on diversifying the UAE economy, the Arab Film Studio programs are at the centre of Image Nation’s mandate to help build the foundations of a film and television industry. It’s incredible to see past participants enter the  industry with jobs that both satisfy their creative passions and enjoy a financially rewarding career.  Just a few short years ago, this would not have been possible.  It’s so wonderful to see.”

Arab Film Studio Scriptwriting is open for submissions from February 15 until April 16.


For those interested in applying for a coveted spot on the Arab Film Studio Script Writing program, applicants must supply the following:

  • Write up to a 30 page script of your story (font size 12, single space).
  • A long line and synopsis of the story.
  • A script previously written that has been produced along with a link to the final film and/ or any published work (short stories or books).
  • One-page biography
  • One-page Motivation letter


Applications can be submitted at and is open to Emiratis and residents of the UAE.

Work can be submitted in Arabic or English.

Deadline for submissions: April 16, 2016

For more information contact [email protected]