Student filmmakers under spotlight at Gulf film fest

Sha'am explores Ras Al Khaimah and its culture. (SUPPLIED)

The third Gulf Film Festival, which begins on Thursday, will turn the spotlight on young filmmakers by screening 13 films that were picked from hundreds of entries in student competition segment for documentaries.

The first three winners will be awarded cash prizes ranging from Dh20,000 to Dh10,000.

Upcoming student filmmakers from the UAE have submitted movies portraying an array of themes, but life in the region finds portrayal in almost every movie.

How the young generation views the Arabic language, for example, is highlighted in Jumana Al Ghanem and Ahlam Albannai's Am Arabi. The hard work, perseverance, and the momentary joys of construction workers who have built the Gulf from the ground up is examined in Moath bin Hafez's Constructing Dreams. And the mountainous region of Ras Al Khaimah and its culture is explored in Sha'am: The Forgotten Village by Mohammed Ghanim Al Marri.

"The rich canvas of films submitted by students for Gulf Film Festival is a testament to how deeply they are connected to social realities and how they make strong interpretations for the cinematic medium. The films are a clear indication of the evolution of student talent in the region and one of the goals of the festival is to introduce their work to a wide spectrum of audience," said Masoud Amralla Al Ali, GFF?Festival Director.

The love of the good life in the region also comes under the scrutiny with Aisha AlSuwaidi's Re-construction exploring the growth in the popularity of plastic surgery, while Moaza Al Sharif's Second Wife investigates the innate relationship between the Emirati men and their love for cars, and married and single Emiratis share their thoughts and opinions on the principle of expected dowry in The Dowry by Maitha Hamdan.

The story of the first hip-hop crew of two brothers in the UAE, and their journey towards becoming renowned artists is charted in Shaikha Awad Al Ayali's Heat The Beat 2.

 

Plenty for children, too

An impressive repertoire of international movies for children, including inspiring tales of friendship and adventures that are billed to appeal to young ones of all ages are being screened as part of the next week's Gulf Film Festival.

Based on the award-winning book by Oliver Jeffers, Lost and Found is the story of a boy who finds a penguin at his doorstep and decides to take it home, even if it means rowing it all the way to the South Pole. Directed by Phillip Hunt, the movie has won 25 awards.

Pigeon: Impossible, from the US, is a quirky tale of Walter, a rookie secret agent faced with a problem that he does not know how to deal with: what to do when a curious pigeon gets trapped inside your multi-million dollar, government-issued nuclear briefcase. The film took nearly five years to complete and is the first attempt at animation by writer/director Lucas Martell.

Full of touching themes, Louise-Marie Colon's Warda is a film from Belgium about a young girl who brings food to her grandmother everyday but one day she is faced by a giant wall blocking her way.

Films from France include Silence Beneath the Bark, a fairytale directed by Joanna Lurie, is about little creatures who discover snow and it takes them in a whirlwind of enjoyment, and Inka Bola, a visually compelling movie, is set on high tower in Andes.

 

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