Different cultures of the world came together at a special screening of short films hosted as part of ‘Your Film Festival’ in Dubai.
The global online film festival, hosted on YouTube, invited filmmakers to send short-films for selection.
Over 15,000 short films were submitted for selection as a panel of judges narrowed down the top 50 films. YouTube audiences then voted for the top 10 finalists.
Ramy El Gabry from Egypt was among the finalists. His film “This Time’ is based on the simple idea of a mother-son relationship and how a kind stranger makes all the difference in their life. “My film shows how cultural values are changing with time. It talks about how children forget their parents as they grow,” says Ramy.
With over 400,000 views on YouTube, Ramy’s short film has become a hit with the online audiences. He says the film festival is unique.
“It puts a spotlight on filmmakers who do not have big budgets and big screens to showcase their works. It is open to the world and it’s the people who choose the best movies,” says Ramy.
He along with nine other finalists will fly to Venice for the prestigious Venice Film Festival to screen their submission and compete for the $500,000 grand prize.
Niam Itani, another finalist from Lebanon, shared her love for cinema with her movie ‘Super Full’.
“What inspires me to make films is my own life and the stories of people around. If we don’t tell our own story, no one else will tell it,” says Niam.
Her movie tells the story of a deaf and mute couple who overcome their problems to live a happy life.
Supported by YouTube and Emirates, the film festival is touted as a ‘global search for the world’s best storytellers’.
Ari Kesisoglu, Managing Director of Google in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said: “The global audience of YouTube voted for the top 10 finalists. Two of the finalists are from the Middle East and it tells us how much talent this region has.” The MENA region has the second highest YouTube viewership after the US with more than 167 million views per day. The finalists will fly to Venice on Thursday.
Speaking with Khaleej Times, Christopher Galanto, Emirates Senior Vice-President, Advertising, said: “Emirates is a bridge between places and people. We look at ways to connect people culturally and film is a great medium to open people’s eyes to other cultures. Bringing these finalists to Dubai is an excellent way to highlight the city’s assets to upcoming filmmakers.”
The top 10 films can be watched online on http://www.youtube.com/user/yourfilmfestival.