Call for Support System for Creative Women in UAE

Afshan Ahmed
Filed on March 10, 2009

DUBAI - A series of short and documentary films by some dynamic women filmmakers were screened at Dubai Knowledge Village on Sunday, marking the International Women’s Day.

The Woman In Film and Television (WIFT), which recently set up its first Middle East chapter in Dubai, screened the films.

Women in the UAE are a powerhouse of talent, but need the right platform to flourish, according to women working in creative fields in Dubai.

“There is no support system for women aspirers in the UAE. We need to construct a network and try to acknowledge the works of women,” said Amanda Lee Falkenberg, composer for film and TV content of Music hf Studios in Dubai. “Dubai has got the infrastructure and through WIFT, we want to create opportunities and extend resources required to individuals in the entertainment and media field,” said Alison Richards, founder of WIFT Dubai.

Her film, ‘Bare Knuckles’, had its world premiere to a packed audience of both men and women on Sunday. “It’s mandatory that I make socially responsible films. This particular film is about a mother who is a stunt fighter and competes to treat her disabled daughter. And I have the real life mother and daughter play the leads in the movie,” said Richards.

Susan Macaulay, a web designer and developer of the online community - - said there is an inspirational story in every woman. “I would love to find out the story behind the woman who organises henna tents at various hotels as her business,” she said.

The UAE has women emerging from various backgrounds, cultures and regions. “We do not know how many women are working in the media in the UAE. Forming a community will help us compile statistics and also help us set up a ground to support what needs to be strengthened,” said Fiona Robertson of The Rights Lawyers in Dubai.

“Surprisingly, 52 per cent of the women world over view media content but 85 per cent of the people employed in the media are men,” said Richardson. “We need to develop more women programmes and content. We also need to find women in this region with the potential and diversity to come together to generate a creative motion in the region,” she added.

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