Lights, camera, life story! "The Reel Dubai" brings new opportunities to UAE filmmakers

Published February 2nd, 2015 - 08:50 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Filmmakers from across the UAE will celebrate the diversity and vitality of Dubai by entering ‘The Reel Dubai’ competition, which launches in February 2015 and is accepting submissions till the end of the month. A joint initiative between Samsung, Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the competition sets out to spotlight the country’s talented filmmakers and draw attention to the array of experiences that the Emirate has to offer.

In line with #MyDubai, the initiative launched by his Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, to encourage residents and visitors to share the true culture and soul of Dubai; by adding film to the initiative, ‘The Reel Dubai’ aims to build on the millions of stories that are being told in pictures.

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of DIFF, said: “Nurturing local talent is the gateway to establishing a strong film culture in the region and one of DIFF’s central mandates. ‘The Reel Dubai Contest’ allows aspiring filmmakers to showcase their creativity and skill against the backdrop of one of the world’s most diverse and stunning cities. Following the success of our collaboration on the Samsung Short Film Contest, we are confident that there is strong enthusiasm in the filmmaking community about this initiative and are looking forward to seeing each participant’s originality shine through their work.”

Issam Kazim, CEO of DCTCM, said: “Through the #MyDubai initiative we have already seen the inspiring creativity, energy and passion for Dubai that exists among its residents, and The Reel Dubai is a further opportunity to showcase these in front of a global audience. I am therefore delighted that Dubai Tourism has partnered with Samsung and DIFF to launch the competition, and very much look forward to seeing the resulting films. I have no doubt that these will reveal the many talents of not just the filmmakers but also those of Dubai as a whole.”

Marco Vocale, Head of Corporate Marketing at Samsung Gulf Electronics said: “We are delighted to take part in another inspiring initiative so soon after the Samsung SHRT FLM CNTST. Dubai is a vibrant canvas for any artist, and, we expect that, with the innovative technology of the Galaxy Note 4 and the guidance of these outstanding mentors, this contest will inspire extraordinary work that is as energising, awe-inspiring and moving as life here can be.”

To enter the “Reel Dubai” competition, filmmakers should submit examples of their previous work to Once the submission process is closed and the judging commences, six filmmakers will be shortlisted to create a unique short film inspired by #MyDubai showcasing Dubai’s vibrant and diverse way of life. Each of the six shortlisted filmmakers will work under the direction of three of the UAE’s acclaimed filmmakers – Ali F. Mostafa, Nayla Al Khaja and Mohammed Saeed Harib who will each mentor two of the six shortlisted filmmakers. One final winner will be selected on completion of the six short films.

The six shortlisted filmmakers will receive a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and $5,000 to fund the making of their film and have their work showcased at a dedicated public screening in April. The winner of the competition will receive a trip to the 68th Cannes Film Festival in May, and have the chance to see screen their film at The Short Film Corner. The second and third place runners up of the competition will be awarded a Samsung device.

A number of filmmakers from the UAE have already created #MyDubai inspired short films that were shown on the sidelines of the 2014 Dubai International Film Festival. These can be viewed on:


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