A little bit of Hollywood star dust has been sprinkled on the UAE this year, with directors and actors flocking to the country to film the future’s blockbusters. And now, production company Image Nation is launching a short film competition for National Day, with the aim of creating a visual mosaic of what it’s really like to live and work the Emirates as the country celebrates its 44th year as a federation.
The competition encourages anyone living in the UAE to grab their camera or phone and shoot a one-minute video. Aspiring Spielbergs and Tarantinos can focus on any aspect of life in the UAE and have full creative licence to create their 60-second movie.
Image Nation’s Gehad Darwish hopes the contest will provide an opportunity to keep up the wave of movie mania that’s sweeping the country. “We’re always looking for talented filmmakers and this is a great platform for the public to be involved in – we may even uncover some unknown talent,” Darwish says.
The UAE is an increasingly popular set location, with big budget productions such as Star Trek Beyond, Star Wars and Brad Pitt’s new Netflix film War Machine using the Emirates as a backdrop.
The competition is open until Wednesday November 25, and films can be in English or Arabic. Image Nation is also hoping to inspire participants through workshops and networking events with professionals working in the industry.
The winning film will be screened at Vox Cinemas around the country on National Day itself and its maker will also receive a five-day filmmaking course scholarship at the New York Film Academy, along with a DSLR camera and a cash prize.
Although the motion pictures must only be 60 seconds, winning the competition won’t be easy. Darwish says the judges are looking for fresh ideas, and he hopes entrants will be inspired by the country’s diversity. “We want to see creativity and originality,” he says. “Think outside of the box. We’d love to see personal content that reflects the values of the nation. The films don’t have to be complicated. It can be a simple short video of you reciting a poem or even of you and your friends on a UAE road trip. The most important thing is to have fun.”