SAE’s Black Sheep Film Festival encourages UAE’s creative talent

SAE, the world’s leading education provider in the creative media industry, continues its support for film students by providing them a platform to display their skills.

SAE hosted the 4th edition of Film Festival on October,1 at the Dubai Knowledge Park Auditorium and Conference Centre, where its exceptionally creative students were honoured with several awards across different categories.

The festival focuses to prepare its students to stand out in the fast-paced cultural and creative sector. According to reports from CISAC, creative industries in the Middle East are growing at the rate of more than 10% gaining more popularity as well as providing future-proof jobs at the same time. While some professions may disappear within next five to ten years, creative skills are on the rise opening new opportunities to young talent.

“Through SAE festival, students not only gain recognition for their individual and group works, but they also receive feedback from top industry professionals who have already excelled in their fields. The festival provides them exposure, encouragement and motivation to work exceptionally well and raise the standard of their productions much higher,” said Yazan Al Ghazzawi, award-winning director, screenwriter and Head of Film at SAE Dubai.

“We also encourage our students to submit the films to festivals around the world – acceptance into festivals contributes directly to student grades for the project. SAE is also in partnership with FILM-ED, the international student film festival and SAE students have made submissions there,” he added.

The big winner of the Black Sheep festival was the documentary “The Loud Minority: Vandalye”, directed by Elizaveta Zhokhova and produced by Yana Kalashnikova. The film won a total of six awards, including Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director (Elizaveta Zhokova), Best Cinematography (Elizaveta Zhokova), Best Editing (Elizaveta Zhokova) and Best Original Score (Elizaveta Zhokova). The film was part of a series of three documentaries focused on the underground music scene in Dubai, created by the same group of students for their Capstone graduation project.

The other winners were:

  • Best Music Video: “Home”, (Director, Amit Jindani)
  • Best Actor (Fiction): Raj Rao –Unscripted” (Directors, Ali Haider and Sanaaya Rohra)
  • Best Actress (Fiction): Lama Mahmalji – “Good Intentions” (Directors, Ali Haider and Sanaaya Rohra)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Fiction): “Good Intentions” (Director, Farah Nabulsi)
  • Best Production & Costume Design: “Unscripted” (Directors, Ali Haider and Sanaaya Rohra)
  • Best Poster: “The Loud Minority: The Flipside” (Director, Elizaveta Zhokova)

Students from trimester 2 to 6 at the institute’s Bachelor of Film programme took part in the competition. They could submit their works in the categories of fiction, documentary and music videos. The ‘Black Sheep’ film festival is named after the award-winning documentary feature film by SAE’s Senior Film Lecturer and documentary filmmaker, Reshel Shah Kapoor.

Applications received were judged by a panel of experts including SAE Dubai alumni JC Brigoli and Seth Wright, and SAE Jordan alumnus Iman Hassan.

By hosting the festival and competition, SAE Institute encourage UAE’s young talent to fully realise their potential and become more competitive. The awards and honours motivate the younger population of the UAE to sharpen their skills and succeed in their careers.

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