x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Emirati feature honoured at New York film festival

An Emirati short film has won top honours at a film festival in New York.

A still from Sabeel, a short film with no dialogue that tells the story of two boys living in the Northern Emirates.
A still from Sabeel, a short film with no dialogue that tells the story of two boys living in the Northern Emirates.

An Emirati short film has won top honours at a film festival in New York.

Sabeel, written by Mohammed Hassan Ahmed and directed by Khalid al Mahmood, has received the Best Short Film Award at the New York Eurasian Film Festival.

The 20-minute film features no dialogue. Shot mostly in Ras al Khaimah, it is the story of two boys from the mountainous Northern Emirates.

The children spend their days growing and harvesting vegetables, which they sell by the side of a road to raise money for their sick grandmother.

Sabeel was produced by Faradees Artistic Production, and supported by the Emirates Foundation.

The premiere of the film was held at the 63rd Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, and won second prize for the best Emirati script at the 2010 Gulf Film Festival in Dubai

Sabeel was also shown at the ninth annual Miami Shorts Film Festival, which ended yesterday.

Meanwhile, the growing importance of regional film is to be highlighted at the seventh Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) from December 12-19, where short films from the region will be shown.

Following the success of Sabeel, a selection of short films from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will be screened.

The five films included as part of "Gulf Voices" segment are stories of honour, war, family, and social dialogue about autism.

"As the international home for Arab film, it is our responsibility and a point of pride for us to champion outstanding films from the Gulf," said Masoud Amralla al Ali, the artistic director of the Diff. "Every one of these films is a compelling narrative, crafted by filmmakers who feel very strongly about their role, their societies and their craft."

Some of the examples of the short films at Diff include Canary, written and directed by Bahraini Mohammed Rashed Bu Ali, which follows the lives of a man, a woman and a young girl whose lives are affected by the bird. The bird is the sole relief to their shared sense of loneliness and isolation.

Also on view will be Tasreeb (Leaking) by the Omani filmmakers Amjad Abdullah al Hinai and Khamis Sulyem Ambo-Saidi, which looks at a child's psyche who seeks an outlet to his family's problems.

 

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae