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Dubai Studio City launches content creation platform CineMENA

From left: Mohammad Salam, Managing Director of Behind the Scenes, Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of the Dubai Film and TV Commission, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City.

Dubai Studio City has announced the launch of CineMENA, a platform for content creation and local talent.

The initiative aims to assist content creators in enhancing their skills through an annual agenda of events, including workshops, masterclasses and training sessions by industry influencers, actors and filmmakers.

Set to officially kick off in February 2019, CineMENA seeks to provide networking opportunities for members and stakeholders of the MENA region’s creative community. The initiative will comprise multiple activations, an exhibition showcasing the latest technologies and trends, outdoor film screenings, and thought sessions focused on all aspects of the art and craft of content creation.

CineMENA will also introduce a new competition to recognise local and regional talent, featuring four categories – Best Short Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Music Video, and Best Film Inspired by the Founding Father of the UAE, Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Commenting on the initiative, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, said: “In line with our core priority of nurturing a creative community through identifying, supporting and honing talent in the media and content creation industry, we are proud to announce the launch of CineMENA, our new platform that celebrates excellence in media across the MENA region.”

He added: “The media industry today features multiple platforms for different types of content creators and some of these stipulate a high number of followers as a prerequisite. In contrast, CineMENA caters to all ages and levels of expertise – from new entrants to seasoned professionals – equipping participants with the necessary skills and tools to create engaging content.

“Local content from the MENA region has a relatively low representation on a global level. We are keen for CineMENA to change the status quo through actively promoting locally produced content in both Arabic and English. We aspire to bring together passionate individuals to learn, generate content, and network with other members and stakeholders of the creative community.”

Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of the Dubai Film and TV Commission, added: “For over a decade, there has been no doubt that the region has made significant strides in the content creation industry, and we intend to provide all the facilities to support our local talent. With CineMENA, we aim to build a platform where content creators can learn, inspire, network and explore new prospects. The initiative is poised to benefit all aspiring creators, whether they belong to the filmmaking, screenwriting, or pre- and post-production fields. CineMENA will provide our young people with an ideal opportunity to showcase their talent while helping develop the regional visual content creation sector and encouraging creativity.”

Over the past three years, Dubai Studio City has organised  workshops in all aspects of film and media production that reportedly drew the participation of over 2,000 amateurs and professionals.

In 2018, the community has hosted 12 workshops in collaboration with the Emirati production house Behind the Scenes at in5 Media, an innovation centre in Dubai Production City that supports entrepreneurs and startups in the media domain. Led by Mohammad Salam, Managing Director of Behind the Scenes, and conducted by specialists, the workshops covered topics such as sound recording, cinematography, voice and speech, post-production, and directing.