TOD will be offering exclusive streaming access to the award-winning films for its subscribers throughout the MENA region, available for a duration of two months.
TOD has announced the winners of its Summer Short Film Festival, which drew more than 100 entries from countries across MENA. The jury at TOD selected the standout films based on various criteria, including concept, execution, originality, cultural significance, and adherence to copyright rules.
The winning entries are Batch 10 by Sana Al Ansari (Qatar), ILL by Sana Al Habib (Tunisia), and Perfect Match by Aladdin Gaber (Egypt).
Qatari filmmaker Sana Al Ansari, a graduate of Northwestern University and UCL, secured victory with her documentary Batch 10, delving into the transformative journey of soldiers navigating national military service and the challenges they encountered.
“It shows how this military service has impacted them in a positive way despite the struggles they had leaving their families behind,” explained Sana who said making the film was one of the most challenging things she had to do in her whole life. “In the end, it was a rewarding one,” she added.
Sana Al Habib from Tunisia, an actor and recent graduate of Universite Centrale, clinched success with ILL, an exploration of Sahar’s turbulent journey grappling with emotions and questioning her existence. Al Habib views her film’s success as a testament to the dedication poured into its creation, motivating her to continue telling resonant stories.
Sana said the success of her entry is “a powerful affirmation of the dedication and passion that went into creating the film, and it motivates me to continue telling stories that resonate with audiences on a deeply personal level.”
“My film embodies a universal message. By approaching mental health from a human perspective rather than a regional one, I aim for each individual to find a personal connection, whether through a word, an image, or a feeling. My primary intent is to spark open conversations and break the stigma surrounding mental health issues,” she stated.
Aladdin Gaber, a student at Egypt’s High Cinema Institute, claimed victory with Perfect Match, a dark comedy unravelling the anxieties surrounding technology and its future implications. Gaber’s protagonist, Anas, navigates the perils of seeking love through a dating app, leading to unforeseen events. The accolade serves as a confidence boost for Gaber, propelling him to create more compelling films.
The winning films will now be streamed on TOD, the sports and entertainment streaming platform.
John Paul McKerlie, VP of Marketing and Sales at TOD, said: “Our congratulations go to all the winners who faced fierce competition demonstrating the wealth of filming talent in the region. We received an overwhelming response and interest from filmmakers and institutes from the region for our first-ever short film festival. It was a welcome surprise and further affirms our belief in the region’s immense indigenous creative talent. We hope this competition and the winning entries encourage not only aspiring filmmakers, but everyone in the entertainment sector in MENA to get behind the treasure trove of talent we have in this region, which deserves our unified support.”