5th Original Narrative Short Film Festival to showcase the very best of young filmmaking talent from the region

Festival organized and hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD), in partnership with MBC

Ali Jaber, MBC Group TV Director

Ali Jaber, MBC Group TV Director

This year’s event will showcase 36 films from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and more.

Films will also be competing for MBC’s prestigious Hope Award

Dubai: As part of MBC Group’s mission to mentor, support and promote young Arab filmmakers, the Original Narrative Short Film Festival is back for its fifth edition this month, from 7-10 December. The festival is organized and hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD), in partnership with MBC Group and Creative Communities Collaborative (CCC). This year’s event will showcase 36 films, selected from hundreds of documentary and feature film submissions. Included in the shortlist are productions from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon.

The films will also be competing for MBC’s prestigious Hope Award, that will see one filmmaker from each category receiving the award along with a monetary prize that will go towards developing the winner’s career.

“We are delighted to be partnering with MBC Group and CCC to offer a new generation of Arab filmmakers a much-deserved platform,” said Festival Chair and Director, Sophie Boutros. “This festival provides participants with the opportunity to not only showcase their work, but also meet and network with a number of world-renowned names in film and TV, from both Hollywood and the Arab world.”

Meanwhile, MBC Group TV Director, Ali Jaber added: “This partnership comes from our belief in the importance of supporting the creative youth of the Arab world, mentoring the filmmakers and TV producers of tomorrow. Support begins from the stage of discovery, to provide platforms for them to showcase their work, right through to training and mentorship through workshops made possible by the support of specialist scholarships.”

This year’s festival will host for the very first time a special educational forum, featuring talks by renowned names from the world of film and TV in both Hollywood and the Arab world. Guest appearances include the television and film writer and producer, Chris Brancato, best-known for his hit series, ‘Narcos’. He’ll be joined by primetime drama producer and writer, Chris Keyser, as well as screenwriter and producer, David Isaacs.

Rounding up the forum are screenwriter, producer, and award-winning director, Dara Resnik; television and film producer and writer, John Altschuler; producer Jason Newman, and executive director of MBC Studios, Peter Smith.

Participants can also take part in an incubator-style screenwriting workshop to help develop and hone their skills.

“If a culture can be judged by the quality of the art it creates, there is no better investment in the future of the culture than in the early and intense nurturing of its young artists,” said Keysar. “The writers and directors I have already met in this region are so full of talent and so bursting with stories to tell.

“Someone once gave me a hand and told me to keep going. That is why I am here – and part of the Original Narrative Short Film Festival – to do the same, to pass that on, to teach a bit, if I can, but mostly to say to this class of young filmmakers: you have a voice that needs to be heard: don't give up, keep telling stories, we need them.”

The 5th Original Narrative Short Film Festival takes place 7-10 December at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD).


About MBC Group:

MBC Group (Middle East Broadcasting Center) is the largest and leading media company in the Middle East & North Africa region that enriches people’s lives through information, interaction and entertainment. In 2002, nearly a decade after the launch of MBC1 in London, in 1991, and as the 1st. private free-to-air Arab satellite TV channel, MBC Group moved its headquarters to Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates, where it remains.

Today, MBC Group includes 19 leading TV channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment); MBC2 & MBC MAX (24-hour western movies); MBC3 (children’s edutainment with a mix of both local productions and western acquisitions); MBC4 (entertainment for young families with a female-focus); MBC Action (an indigenous adrenaline-packed channel targeting young males with local and homegrown productions); MBC Variety (Western films and general entertainment with uninterrupted broadcasting); MBC Drama (24/7 Arabic drama) & MBC+ Drama (a joint pay-TV channel between MBC and OSN); MBC PERSIA (general family entertainment dubbed and subtitled in Farsi); Al Arabiya (24-hour Arabic language News channel); Al Hadath (an extension of Al Arabiya News Channel with a specific focus on developing stories in the Arab world and beyond); Wanasah (24-hour Arabic music channel); MBC MASR & MBC MASR2 (general family entertainment geared towards the Egyptian family); MBC BOLLYWOOD (delivering the freshest in Bollywood content geared towards the region via an Arabized interface); MBC USA (on “Dish Network” in the US); MBC Studios (producing the region’s most compelling premium content for cinema, television and on-demand platforms; and MBC IRAQ (a premium channel aimed at the entire Iraqi family), and MBC5 (new satellite channel dedicated to the Maghreb).

MBC Group also includes two FM radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music) and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music). Furthermore, The Group includes online platforms: www.mbc.net , www.alarabiya.net , www.shahid.net  (the first free VOD and catch-up portal in the Arab world) and www.actionha.net , among others.

For further information, please contact:

Sasha Gemayel
Senior Group PR Manager
MBC Group
+971 4 3909816

© Press Release 2019

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