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Emarati Filmmakers Take Centre Stage at Abu Dhabi Film Festival

This year's Abu Dhabi Film Festival will reflect the growing talent and influence of UAE filmmakers in the region's film industry.

For the first time UAE Nationals will join international filmmakers on juries judging films in competition. A record number of submissions have been received from Emirati filmmakers with these films also competing against the very best of international cinema and to top this, the Festival has its first UAE National Director.  

Ali Al Jabri, the first Emirati to hold the prestigious post of Festival Director, said he was proud to see the quality and diversity of work emerging from the local industry and urged others to follow their lead.

"It's very exciting to see Emiratis telling their stories through film and to see such interesting work come out of a relatively small community," he said. "I hope other Emiratis will be as proud as I am. This should act as an inspiration to others considering filmmaking as a career."

Joining international filmmakers on Festival juries this are include Nawaf Al Janahi, who directed feature films Sea Shadow (World Premiere at ADFF 2011) and The Circle (2009), as well as a number of internationally acclaimed short films. Al Janahi joins the 'New Horizons' jury this year. Ahmad Hasan Ahmad, an award-winning UAE filmmaker with more than 30 short films, music videos and commercials to his credit, joins the 'Short Film Competition' jury.

Shorts filmmakers bridge the Festival sections, for example Yassir Al Yassri with his film Murk Light which has been selected both for the Emirates Film Competition and the International Short Film Competition, showing that Emirati film makers are competing on a level with international productions in all sections.

Local director Nujoom Al Ghanem, whose features Amal (2011) and Hamama (2010) have screened in international festivals, returns to the Emirates Film Competition with Salma' Dinner (2012). Al Ghanem is an Emirati poet and an award- winning film director who has qualifications in film production from Universities in both Australia and the USA. She has produced nine films including shorts and documentaries.

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