UAE blockbusters under one roof
The UAE’s burgeoning film collection has finally found a permanent home at the UAE National Film Library and Archive (UNFLA) at Zayed University’s state-of-the-art archive centre.
The library at the Abu Dhabi campus, the first-of-its-kind in the region, will house all films produced, co-produced and funded by the UAE. The facility was inaugurated by Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, this week.
They include Emirati films that have won a place at the Dubai International Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Emirates Film Competition, Gulf Film Festival and Zayed University Middle East Film Festival. “So much of a nation’s history is wrapped in its films...Many countries have lost their films due to misplacement, accidents and wear and tear of time. This library, with the help of its supporters, guarantees that this will not be the fate of the UAE’s rapidly developing film history,” said project director and assistant professor at ZU Alia Yunis.
Efforts to collect the films began just over a year ago, with a catalogue database developed by one of the principal investigators, festival programmer Ozge Calafato.
The collection and preservation of the films also involved over 15 research assistants, mostly ZU undergraduate students.
“It has been a wonderful experience for us to see how many Emirati filmmakers have been committed to supporting us, including Nawaf Al Janahi, the director of Sea Shadow, Khalid Al Mahmoud, the director of Sabeel and Mostafa Ali, the director of City of Life.”
The current catalogue includes over 500 titles, both short and feature-length films.
The library is also a repository for related materials such as scripts, production stills, posters and media coverage, as well as movies from the UAE’s major film festivals.
The films will not be allowed out of the library nor will they be available for public screenings, except with the written permission of the rights holders.
The library, which is open by appointment for researchers, is not a lending library.
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