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ADFF Unveils Contestants for the International Shorts and Emirates Film Competition

EFC presented by "Dolphin Energy" for the first time
Record submissions highlights growth of filmmaking in GCC

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has announced its 2012 selections for the International Shorts and Emirates Film Competition. With a record number of entries from across the Gulf, the competitions highlight the growth of filmmaking in the region while showcasing a diverse assortment of Arabic and international films.

In its 11th year, with new Director Saleh Karama now at the helm, the Emirates Film Competition is going from strength to strength and is presented by "Dolphin Energy" for the first time, as projects by filmmakers from across the GCC compete for awards set to build the region's film culture and industry.

Saleh Karama commented, "When I took the position of heading the Emirates Film Competition, the job felt like a very natural step to me. All these years, I have indulged in cinema, participated in debates and discussions, and lived my life amongst amateur and professional filmmakers, both locally and regionally."

From its first edition, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has aimed to provide an important platform for emerging and established Arab filmmakers to develop their talent through exposure to international cinema and interaction with filmmakers from all over the world. In its 6th edition, the Film Festival presents some of the best short films made both regionally and internationally.

2012 has seen a record number of entries. More than 1600 submissions were received from 23 countries from all over the world with 27 films set to compete in this year's International Short Film Competition. Ranging from new and emerging talent to established filmmakers, some of the highlights of the competition include four World Premieres, a leading number of Middle East productions and a number of films from Kenya, Spain and India, with GCC filmmakers like Ali Al Ali of Bahrain and Ahd Kamel from Saudi Arabia.

Over the last 5 years, the EFC has seen a huge rise in participation from Emirati and GCC filmmakers on both a local and international scale and as such, two local filmmakers have been given the opportunity to be part of the jury this year. Locally renowned art director Ahmed Hassan Ahmed is a jury member for the International Shorts competition and Nawaf Al Janahi is part of the New Horizons Competition.

Ali Al Jabri, Director Abu Dhabi Film Festival said, "In the second edition of the Festival, the Emirates Film Competition became a part of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and very quickly became one of the vital programs of the Festival. This was a very important step and an opportunity for local filmmakers to benefit from an international platform by watching more films, interacting with filmmakers and industry professionals worldwide, and be exposed to the bigger media activity that occurs during the festival. Most importantly, local short filmmakers have started to compete and learn from a more international perspective."

Al Jabri went on to add, "The fact that we have managed to attract such a high profile sponsor as Dolphin Energy this year highlights the progress we have made and the reputation the Emirates Film Competition enjoys in the Gulf. Together with Dolphin Energy we will continue to build that reputation and to encourage more young Emiratis and Arabs to see the media industry as a viable career option."

Saleh Karama added: "I will continue to carry the torch of my predecessors, and work hard to encourage the impact of the EFC on the development and support of local and GCC filmmakers. I also aim to further support our younger filmmakers and I would like to see them participating in both the Emirates Film Competition and the International Shorts Competition every year."

Mr. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, CEO, Dolphin Energy Limited said, "Dolphin Energy has a long track record of supporting culture and the arts in the UAE. Supporting the Emirates Film Competition gives us the opportunity to extend this commitment and highlight our firm belief that talent in all forms should always be nurtured and developed. We very much look forward to participating in the contest this year."

This is the first year the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has been presented under the management of TwoFour54, as part of the plan to strategically align the festival alongside Abu Dhabi's other media initiatives and related events, reinforcing Abu Dhabi as the creative hub for the region supporting film production.

Contact thePress Team