ABU DHABI // A coming-of-age movie shot in Ras Al Khaimah and dealing with issues such as family values, culture and tradition had its world premiere last night.
And according to its makers, the unveiling of Sea Shadow at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival was an important step towards the coming of age of the country's film industry.
Mohammed Al Otaiba, the head of the production company Image Nation Abu Dhabi, described the screening at the Abu Dhabi Theatre as a "milestone".
The film is the first the company has shot in the UAE with an Emirati director.
"It's taking it to the next level," Mr Al Otaiba said. "This reflects the commitment we have towards nurturing the local talent and helping them to realise their ambitions."
The director Nawaf Al Janahi, from Abu Dhabi, shrugged off talk of a milestone, pausing on the red carpet to say he did not feel it put extra pressure on him to succeed.
"I do what I do, I'm just a filmmaker," Al Janahi said, adding he was excited to be showing his movie to the world for the first time. "It's a great thrill, definitely. The first screening has a different taste."
The film is about a teenage boy, Mansoor, played by Omar Al Mulla, who falls for the girl next door, Kaltham, played by Neven Madi, but cannot say how he feels.
"I'm extremely excited but afraid," said Al Mulla, 20, an Emirati from Sharjah. "I pray that the viewers will enjoy it."
Madi, 19, a Syrian who was born in Sharjah, said: "I am a little scared and anxious because I do not know what the public will think of it, but nevertheless I am optimistic."
Sea Shadow goes on release across the Emirates on November 17.
* With additional reporting by Awad Mustafa