Winners with Dean, Dr. Marilyn Roberts
The second annual Zayed University Middle East Film Festival (ZUMEFF) – the only film festival which showcases student films and filmmakers from across the Middle East – concluded on Thursday night with a glittering award ceremony that honoured the top filmmakers in four categories: Best Documentary, Best Narrative, Best News Story and Best Animation.
A panel of three industry experts — Michael Garin, CEO of Imagenation, Kellen Quinn, Deputy Director of Abu Dhabi Film Festival, acclaimed film director Nadia Fares - chose the winners from 16 shortlisted films. Over 65 films were submitted from eight countries across the region, and some 40 screened over three days.
Entries to the Festival came from 15 universities across the Middle East including American University in Dubai, Notre Dame University in Lebanon, American University of Cairo, Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in Jordan, and Dar Al-Kalima College in Palestine, among others.
Dr. Marilyn Roberts, Dean, College of Media Communication & Sciences, presented the awards at a ceremony attended by the Deans of various departments, students and several high-ranking officials.
The winning filmmakers were flown to Abu Dhabi by Zayed University to attend the ceremony. The grand prize winner was Sherif Wahba (Aziz) of French University in Cairo. The award for Best Narrative went to Ibrahim Hodroj (4 Walls) of Modern Sciences and Arts University in Cairo, and for Best Documentary was shared by Montamy Sharha (Om El Kheer) of Dar El Kalima in Palestine and Osama Namrouqa (Sawaleef) of the Red Sea Institute for Cinematic Arts in Jordan – Producer Dima Amr received award on Osama’s behalf. The Best Animation Award was won by Gaby Milky (Once Upon a Feather) of Notre Dame in Lebanon, and Award for Best New Story was clinched by Yusra Hasan and Duaa Fahmi (Mwaqef) of Zayed University Abu Dhabi.
Saoud Al Kaabi, popular UAE TV and film personality, hosted the closing, along with ZUMEFF team member Mayyasa Al Yammahi.
ZUMEFF is sponsored in part by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which provides financial support, as well as helps the students with classroom lectures and coaching lessons. Other sponsors include NYFA, GPP Printing, and Zayed University Student Council AUH.
The festival aims to highlight students’ talents, encouraging young people to produce films and develop their skills in directing, filming and production; and encourages communication between different cultures in the Middle East, opening the door of friendship between participating students.
For more information, please visit www.zumeff.com, http://www.facebook.com/ZUMiddleEastFilmFestival, or www.twitter.com/zumeff.