Dubai: ‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’ festival has been in the spotlight with the visit of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council. Dubai Culture organizes the event at Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve.
The festival is a key highlight of the Dubai Destinations winter campaign. It seeks to empower the local cinema industry and encourage creative talents by supporting filmmakers, enabling them to showcase their works and share their visions, experiences, and knowledge with audiences.
The third edition of the festival will feature events and activities until 21 January 2024. It will showcase over 70 films and 30 workshops along with more than ten diverse panel discussions and talks.
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed affirmed the importance of the Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert festival in enriching Dubai’s cultural and artistic movement. The Chairperson of Dubai Culture also underscored its positive impact on the film sector, noting its valuable addition to the local film scene and its role in stimulating creatives and enhancing the sustainability of the film industry.
Sheikha Latifa said that, “The festival reflects Dubai’s modern identity and cultural and creative richness, representing an innovative platform for creative individuals that contributes to developing their skills and developing their creative tools. It provides seasoned and emerging creatives with opportunities to exchange artistic experiences and benefit from the latest methods and creative trends in this field, allowing for intellectual dialogue among different cultures to take place, highlighting our identity, traditions, and local culture.”
The festival, by means of its array of activities, supports the cultural and creative industries and enhances cultural tourism, enabling creatives to explore the distinctive opportunities that Dubai provides them in its mission to be a global center for the film industry, Sheikha Latifa added.
Shiekha Latifa got a brief on the art exhibitions during the visit. It includes the one inspired by the history of cinema held alongside the festival. The ‘Cinematic Masterpieces’ exhibition showcases a unique collection from Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, and the ‘Stories at One with Nature’ exhibition that includes artworks and photographs by a group of talented young creatives from Akaas Visual Arts besides artworks by People of Determination from the Rashid Center for People of Determination.
The festival runs under the theme ‘Stories at One with Nature’. It features diverse programs that aim to provide Emirati citizens and residents with an exceptional cultural experience.
Attendees will have access to more than 70 films from Emirati, GCC, Arab, and international filmmakers. 56 among them are part of the Al Marmoom Short-Film Competition. A distinguished panel of experts from the UAE and regional film sector will evaluate the entries.
In addition, a collection of international and Arab films nominated for Academy Awards will get screened for the first time in the region. The list includes the documentary film (Wild Dubai) produced by The Government of Dubai Media Office, and a collection of documentaries produced by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, among others.
The workshops happening as part of the festival will address everything from the basics. The topics will include techniques for preparing actors and methods for calculating film budgets. It will also deal with work behind the camera in a movie. The discussions on the difference between theatrical and cinematic scripts, photography, lighting, montage, and coloring will aid in that regard.
The conversations during the workshops will provide insights on diverse visual forms like documentary making and the elements of short and children’s films. A discussion on the importance of Arabic dubbing in international cinematic works will also come up among other topics in the workshop.
The festival will also witness over 10 diverse talks and panel discussions. The panel will include speakers, directors, and specialists from the film industry. The guests will address the challenges for creatives in the ‘seventh art’ field along with many other industry-related topics.
The event will host various musical and heritage performances highlighting the beauty of Emirati culture and traditional crafts such as Al Talli and Al Khoos. It reflects the Authority’s commitment to showcasing Emirati traditions and enhancing their profile in artistic and creative activities throughout the emirate.