Two of the winners also won an internship placement, in which they will work closely on Image Nation’s upcoming projects.
Image Nation Abu Dhabi has named Mansour Ahmed, Mildred Garcerant and Amer Al Mahri as the 2019 winners of Arab Film Studio, its flagship training programme for aspiring filmmakers, which took place at the Marriott Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Mansour Ahmed was awarded Best Narrative Short Film for Asli, which follows an Emirati marriage detective who investigates a potential bridegroom with surprising results.
On receiving the award, Ahmed said: “I applied to Arab Film Studio three times because I truly believed that this program would be my first step into the storytelling industry. I felt such a connection with the work that they do. I’m a huge believer in Arab Film Studio and I really encourage everyone who has a passion for film to apply next year.”
Mildred Garcerant won Best Documentary Short Film for In the Shadows, which recreates the family situation when one member is detained for twenty-five days in a 6 sq.m. cell with thirty others. “I’m feeling so happy and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Arab Film Studio workshops all year. I cannot stress enough the importance of the tutoring we received, which really helped to build my confidence in what I was doing,” Garcerant said.
The award for Best Script was given to Run Salem Run by Amer Al Mahri, who won around $27,225. He commented: “I always say I want to see my characters come to life, so I’d like to thank Image Nation for opening the door and giving all of us in the script-writing program this opportunity to make our dreams come true.”
Commenting on the AFS programme, His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation said: “Arab Film Studio continues to grow from strength to strength. The quality of works that these creative filmmakers produce every year is outstanding, and many of our more than 150 former participants have gone on to successful careers. Arab Film Studio is developing a significant legacy, reflecting Image Nation’s fundamental mandate to build a sustainable regional industry by inspiring and nurturing the next generation of creative professionals.”
Judging the entries were film industry experts including regional filmmakers, Mohamed Saeed Hairb, Yasir Al Yasiri, Ali Marzouqi, Scandar Copti and Nawaf Al Janahi.