Dubai, UAE – 11 January 2014: Canon Middle East congratulates Nayla Al Khaja, founder and director of D-SEVEN Motion Pictures and the UAE’s first female producer/director, on winning the Muhr Emirati Special Jury award at the 10th Dubai International Film Festival. She accepted the award for her film, The Neighbour, from HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum along with producer Claudia Corbelli. As a Canon ambassador, Nayla has access to a wide variety of innovative film equipment, including the EOS-1D C which was used to capture the story.
Emirati Film Director Nayla Al Khaja talks to Vijaya Cherian about her films that are being screened at DIFF 2013 and the burgeoning film culture in the UAE.
Harper’s Bazaar – PDF
As DIFF rolls into Dubai, Emily Baxter looks at the new wave of Arab female filmmakers turning the Middle Eastern film scene into an all-woman playground.
Few films win standing ovations, let alone one 10 minutes long, but at last year’s Venice Film Festival, Wadjda by Haifaa Al Mansour broke with convention. As well as being a poetic ode to childhood dreams and determination, Wadjda is the first feature-length film to come out of Saudi Arabia, it’s the country’s first ever submission to the Academy Awards
(fingers crossed for March), and, most pertinently, it’s directed by a woman.
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is teaming up again with the Naqsh Short Film Days (NSFD), a unique film festival in Bahrain, to showcase six prominent Emirati films to audiences at the second edition of the festival.
NSFD takes place from 26 to 28 September and the selected Emirati films, which have been previously screened at the DIFF and the Gulf Film Festival (GFF), is part of a distinctive regional programme that will give audiences the opportunity to experience the vibrancy and multi-faceted nature of Emirati cinema.
Earlier this year, select GEMS schools in Dubai participated in an inter-school pilot project called ‘Student Voice’, as part of their continuing Parental Engagement outreach. The project, done in collaboration with Canon Middle East, gave senior students the opportunity to produce short films, which captured issues relevant to teens in the UAE, in an attempt to help build awareness and bridge the gap between parents and students.
Emirati film-maker, Nayla Al Khaja helped launch the project with a visit to each of the participating schools, to speak about film-making and UAE careers in film. Canon Middle East provided enough Canon Alegria HD Camcorders for each student production team and arranged for one-day short film making workshops, conducted by the SAE Institute.