Budding all-rounder wins DIFF Young Journalist Award 2009

Tue Dec 15,2009

Budding film journalist Sidra Tariq Siddiqui from American University in Shajrah has scooped the Dubai International Film Festival Young Journalist Award 2009.

Colin Brown, co-hosting the DIFF Young Journalist workshop programme this week with Scott Macaulay, said Sidra’s outstanding news and review writing skills meant she pipped her nine colleagues to the prestigious award, although he commended all 10 for their hard work and potential. “Sidra’s work was so good that we had to remind ourselves that she was a student,” he said.

He praised all the students for adjusting to the pressures of working in a busy festival to tight deadlines, many of whom had little to no experience of working in film festivals before. He also singled out special thanks to Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman, and the entire DIFF team for making the award possible. “No other festival does it, and it’s important to encourage not only the next generation of filmmakers, but also the next generation of writers.”

Ashraf Younis, Senior Manager - Marketing & Communications for MBC Group, presented the award to Sidra.

Launched last year, the DIFF Young Journalist Awards is part of the Industry Office’s commitment to enhance the skills of the arts within the UAE. Topics covered in other workshops this week include film review and criticism, film business writing, and new technologies like blogging. The workshops are open to students in the UAE who are currently enrolled in either journalism, film studies, PR or mass media and communications courses.

Now in its sixth year, DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City until December 16. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). For more information on the festival, please visit

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