Zayed University Film Festival announces winners

27 Mar 2010

3 student film makers from Jordan, Lebanon and Qatar were awarded trophies yesterday (25 March) after winning a film competition and being selected from among 12 finalists during the closing ceremony that marked the conclusion of the first annual Zayed University Film Festival, which was held on the university's Abu Dhabi campus in the presence of Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassim Vice President of Zayed University, Dr.Marilyn Roberts Dean of the College of Communication and Media Sciences, in addition to a number of prominent Emirati film makers.

The 3-day film festival, the first of it's kind in the UAE and the region to showcase short student films was organized by Reem Majid and AlYazyah Al Falasi, two senior students from the College of Communication and Media Sciences in Abu Dhabi, as their capstone project, and sponsored by Telecommunication's Regulatory Authority, Al Khaleejia as the official radio station, and the Middle East International Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority as presenting sponsors and supported by Baynounah Media Group.

The grand prize of AED 10,000 went to Naji Bechara, a student from Notre Dame University in Lebanon for his film "Talk to the Brain", a satire on current educational systems in Lebanon, while the prize for Best Documentary went to Shrooq Abdulla a student from Qatar University for "Lady of the Rosary", a film about the first church to be built in Qatar, and Best Narrative Short went to Amjad AlRashid a student from The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in Jordan for "Bitter Days", a film about a little Jordanian shoeshine girl who is trying to escape the consequences of her poverty. The festival also awarded Abdelsalam AlHajj, a student from the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts with the Audience Favorite Award for his Narrative short titled "Yousef", a story about a young man who's very attached to his late mother's radio.

 "Zayed University Film Festival takes on special significance because it is held under the theme of "by students for students" and was planned, organized and implemented by two senior students from our College of Communication and Media Sciences, with the main goal of offering student film makers a platform through which they can showcase their work, prove their talent and give them the opportunity to communicate and network with their peers and professionals of the field", said Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassim, Vice President of Zayed University.

He added: "The success that this film festival -the first of it's kind in the region-  has achieved in attracting more than 70 entries from students all over the UAE and the Middle East, is a clear indication of how talented Zayed University students are, and a testament to the type of leaders they have become".

Reem Majid, one of the students who organized the film festival said: "The idea of the film festival was inspired after I interned at MEIFF last fall, and after discussing it with AlYaziyah, we agreed to launch the first Zayed University Film Festival, with the help of our sponsors and our professors at ZU". She added: "We are really grateful for the success the festival has achieved both locally and regionally. This will pave the way for our fellow student film makers and will allow them to demonstrate their excellence and distinctiveness in the field of narrative shorts and documentaries".

"With the film industry blooming in the UAE and the Middle East, we are really proud and honored to have taken part in the birth of a prestigious and influential film festival, which is honored to bear the name of the father of the nation and the late President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. We seek to spread this success to echo around the Middle East and hopefully Zayed University Film Festival will receive more participants and entries next year".