By Vijaya Cherian
Three years ago, I recall my meeting with Masoud Amralla Al Ali, director of the Emirates Film Competition in Abu Dhabi. He was an angry man; angry with the government and the media for not extending any support to Emirati filmmakers.
I|~||~||~|Three years ago, I recall my meeting with Masoud Amralla Al Ali, director of the Emirates Film Competition in Abu Dhabi. He was an angry man; angry with the government and the media for not extending any support to Emirati filmmakers. Today, I am certain he will be happy that all of the efforts he took over the last few years to encourage local filmmaking has finally paid off. At the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) 2005, we will see a wide range of Arab cinema from different parts of the world. But what would make Al Ali really proud is the fact that DIFF this year will have two new sections dedicated to screening the works of Emirati filmmakers and those of other people filming on home turf. After several years of organising the Emirates Film Competition (EFC) and encouraging filmmaking in a land that has in the past extended little support to the visual medium, things are changing. EFC, however, is more of a regional showcase; DIFF will give these filmmakers a more international platform.
Also, this year, we have one other special event to look forward to. After having only Cabsat to contend with for the last few years, we see competition emerging in Lebanon in the form of the Middle East Broadcast show. The event hasn’t even started yet and they’re already talking of it attracting more than 6000 visitors. Everyone we have talked to seems to be going to the show. If you have never visited Lebanon, this is your perfect excuse to experience good weather, visit a beautiful country and witness a fully-functional HDTV station in the Middle East. Digital Studio will be there to bring you all the information in the next issue.