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MBC’s ‘Movies in Motion’ winners to be awarded at DIFF

Thu Nov 12,2009

Open contest draws 550 two-minute films from GCC, Levant, North Africa

The winners of ‘Movies in Motion,’ an innovative pan-Arab talent contest for budding filmmakers in the Middle East, organised by MBC for the third consecutive year, in partnership with Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), will be announced during the sixth edition of DIFF in December. DIFF has been associated with the initiative, sponsored by Sony Ericsson and the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi, since its launch in 2007 with the objective of involving more youngsters and tech-savvy film-lovers in the world of cinema.

The 2-minute movie competition has received 550 entries from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. The competition saw residents submitting their two-minute, two-actor and two-location movies to the MBC website www.mbc.net/mim.mbc.net. A 12-member industry jury, comprising academic and film professionals evaluated the entries, and the winners will be announced at the DIFF 2009 closing ceremony on December 16, 2009.

DIFF Marketing and Sponsorship Director Mahsa Motamedi said: “Since our partnership with the event, we have been providing the right platform to showcase film-making talent in the region and thus encourage young movie enthusiasts to take the next steps forward. Over the past three years, there has been a drastic improvement in the quality of contest entries as well as stronger participation of students and youth. This is a perfect fit to our objective of nurturing interest in films as a medium of expression for young people.”

“The MBC Movies in Motion contest is a valuable barometer for the entire Middle East region, providing an insight into what the youth are thinking and also seeding the future of a robust regional cinema industry,” Motamedi said. “DIFF has always stayed abreast of and integrated emerging technologies across our operations, in our offerings to the public and the industry, and we are pleased to be closely involved in this worthy initiative.”

The contest’s surging popularity is reflected in the astounding increase in entries over the past three years; the 2009 entries registered a 266 percent increase versus 2008, and 587.5 percent increase from the inaugural edition in 2007 – mirroring the increased democratization of filmmaking technology, said Andrew Maskall, Senior Marketing Manager for Western Channels at MBC Group.

Maskall added: “MBC is aligned with DIFF in promoting the festival’s fundamental goal of creating a strong local film culture. The Movies in Motion initiative offers the opportunity for anyone with a creative outlook to produce movies, regardless of budget, skills, or equipment, but rather focusing on the ideas and novelty of their imagination. While it offers a sounding board for all aspiring film-makers to showcase their creativity, we are taking the next step forward by offering winners the opportunity to pursue full-fledged film careers.”

The first-place winner will receive a one-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi, an internship at MBC and a Sony Ericsson C905 gift hamper including a C905 handset, digital photo frame, Bluetooth speaker and mobile tripod. Second and third place winners, and the winners of the People’s Choice Award, will receive the special Sony Ericsson C905 pack. The top four winning films will also be screened three times a day on MBC2 and MBC Max, the immensely popular free-to-air entertainment and film channels with an estimated reach of 40 million viewers.

The ‘Movies In Motion’ competition, open to films shot on mobile phones, digital cameras or video cameras, debuted to the public in mid-2007 with the Dubai International Film Festival. Experts from the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi and MBC this year visited schools and universities across the region, conducting movie-making workshops to encourage participation in the contest and develop budding talents, and posted mini-master classes and tips on the site for all visitors.

‘Movies in Motion’ was created as an online movie club for MBC2 fans and is fast emerging as one of the region’s most popular user-generated content and social networking platforms.

Now in its sixth year, DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, from December 9 to 16. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF.

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