Emirati director Khalid Al Mahmoud in Screen International shortlist of 10 ‘most influential in Arab film community’

Thu Nov 10,2011

Dubai, UAE; November 10, 2011: Award-winning Emirati filmmaker Khalid Al Mahmoud is among 10 Arab film personalities named the ‘most influential in the Arab film community’ by Screen International magazine.

The global film industry magazine shortlisted Al Mahmoud – and other Dubai International Film Festival alumni – as part of it its detailed report, ‘Arab Film Opens Up,’ celebrating their contribution for ‘making films that touched the minds and hearts of all spectators within a short time.’

Abu Dhabi-born and educated at the University of Denver, Al Mahmoud is a programmer for the Dubai International Film Festival and the director of the short film Sabeel, which scooped the first prize at the fourth Gulf Film Festival and was the runner up at DIFF’s Muhr Emirati Awards. The film has also won accolades internationally and was chosen for Locarno and Berlinale.

Screen’s Colin Brown, who tips the 10 as making an international mark in future, wrote of Al Mahmoud: “Films by UAE nationals are just starting to ripple outwards, starting with Sabeel, the first film from a Gulf country to be selected for either the Berlinale or the Locarno film festivals.”

The other Arab personalities profiled in the report include: Saudi director, producer and actress Ahd Kamel; Palestinian director and producer Basil Khalil; Jordanian producer Rula Nasser; Jordanian director Zaid Abu Hamdan; Egyptian director Ayten Amin; Egyptian actress Arwa Gouda; Lebanese actress Darine Hamze; Syrian documentary maker Ammar Al-Beik; and Egyptian producer Wael Omar.

Ahd Kamel’s film The Shoemaker was screened at DIFF 2009; Rula Nasser’s Transit Cities won the FIPRESCI Prize for ‘Best Feature Film’ and was runner-up for the Muhr Arab Awards at DIFF 2010; Zaid Abu Hamdan’s Bahiya…& Mahmoud was screened at DIFF 2010; and Syrian documentary filmmaker Ammar Al-Beik’s Aspirin and a Bullet (Aspirin wa Rassassa) has been shortlisted for the Muhr Arab Awards for documentaries at DIFF this year.

DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

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