Press Release (ePRNews.com) - ABU DHABI, UAE - May 03, 2016 - Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, and President of Zayed University, and Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs of UAE and Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and twofour54, handed out the awards for the 7th Zayed University Middle East Film Festival’s winners yesterday evening (Monday) in a glittering ceremony held at Abu Dhabi Campus.
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna praised this year’s submissions and affirmed their uniqueness in terms of the creativity and technical variety that were on display at the 7th edition of the Zayed University Film Festival.
Her Excellency pointed out that ZUMEFF is a great opportunity to experience the unique and pure vision of these young inspiring filmmakers through both their storytelling abilities, artistic thoughts, or creative imaginations.
The awarding ceremony was also attended by Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, Dr Marilyn Roberts, Acting Provost, and Dr Fatima AlDarmaki, Assistant Provost for Student Affairs.
Additionally, major players in the media and film industry as well as several well-known Emirati directors and celebrities were present at yesterday’s awarding ceremony.
At the outset of the ceremony, Dr Marilyn gave a welcome speech and said: “It is my pleasure to welcome you to this beautiful evening where we celebrate this year’s winners of the 2016 Zayed University Middle East Film Festival. Since it first started at Zayed University, this event has become an important time in the University’s calendar: A time to gather and celebrate extraordinary imagination, creation, and talent of bright young minds and professional filmmakers.”
“In the very beginning, Zayed University Middle East Film Festival was a capstone project initiated by two media students in 2010, but as it evolved, it embraced the present and grew to have involved 19 countries and more than 40 universities and higher education institutions from across the Arab world,” she added.
The ‘Best of the Best’ award went to the talented Hussam Ismail from SAE Institute in Amman, Jordan for his animated film Unfinished Tales: Fool’s Paradise. His creative film shows four wounded soldiers in a hospital room, where one of them lying down on his bed next to a window and telling the others what happens in the world outside.
While the ‘Best Narrative’ award was given to Seyed Sajad Moosavi from Sooreh University in Iran for his film The Salt Man. A story about a genius artist who is obliged to work in a salt mine with his six-year-old daughter.
The ‘Best Documentary’ was awarded to The Sheikh of Musaffah by Waleed Al Madani. His film narrates the story of an unstable father-son relationship within the ruins of damaged engines and mistreated cars in Musaffah in the capital.
Additionally, Nicolas Fattouh was the winner of “Best Animation” award. Fattouh is from Académie Libanaise Des Beaux -Arts in Lebanon. He was awarded for his imaginative film Le voleur de casseroles, the pot thief. His stop-motion film portrays life on the planet Ednomelie, where people are born with a pot attached to their chest. In order to remain alive, they have to rub the pot all the time.
The winners were awarded special prizes from the Adobe Middle East. They will have the opportunity to get access to the full range of Adobe Creative Cloud products to work on their next projects.
The ‘twofour54 Emerging Filmmaker Award’ went to Fayssal Bensahli for his short film “Made of Clay” that narrates the story of a young passionate stop-motion artist who wants to pursue his dreams.
Speaking on the occasion, Fayssal said: “The Zayed University Middle East Film Festival is a good platform for young filmmakers to showcase their work to a large audience. They will also be receiving critic on their work and viewing a variety of distinguished films from the Middle East.”
The twofour54 Emerging Filmmaker will get the opportunity to do an internship at a film production company and will be able to use the post-production facilities at twofour54 for their future innovative projects.
Hend Al Mansoori, a Zayed University student and the Head of the Film Curating Committee, said: “As an organizer, I’m very satisfied and happy with what we achieved tonight. I felt very proud with the attendance and applause of Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna and Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi.”
This year’s festival received more than 160 submissions from over 40 universities and higher education institutions and around 19 countries from across the Arab world.
“Two things made ZUMEFF special this year: The incredible team of students who worked so hard to make this year’s festival a success and the high quality of submissions, a reflection of how the film industry is growing dramatically through its youth.” Sascha Ritter, Director of ZUMEFF, said.
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