Lights, camera, action!

DUBAI - Several Emirati and expatriate high school students are giving up traditional career options for courses in film-making, music videos and animation, says a premier institute in Dubai.

By Preeti Kannan

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Published: Mon 11 Aug 2008, 1:14 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:01 PM

One of the first institutes of its kind in the emirate, SAE Institute has been seeing a steady flow of students opting for diploma, degree and short courses in film-making, digital animation, multimedia, web design and audio engineering programmes.

Anthony Frantzis, Head of Marketing and Strategic Alliances, told Khaleej Times, 'When we first opened our doors to students in the year 2006, parents viewed what we taught as frivolous. However, there is an emerging change with many Emirati and expat students enrolling in our institute. There are a number of students who have dropped out of traditional schools (colleges) and joined us.'

About 270 students, including 10 Emiratis, have been enrolled for the college's new academic year. Two years ago, barely 60 students had enrolled for these courses.

Frantzis noted that there has been an 'exponential increase' in admissions and would have to hold parallel classes to accommodate the increasing admissions.

Conceding that the industry was still in its nascent stage, he is confident that things would change with the advent of Dubailand, which would host Universal Studios, and other studios planning to set base in the emirates.

'This is a definite change in the industry. The onset of Studio City and Media City are already ensuring that. Once we have signed up big production facilities like Universal Studios, things will fall in place and we already have the skills and talent here,' he pointed out.

While in college, SAE students have been getting practical exposure and even worked backstage at the recent Aerosmith concert and the Groove Armada in Dubai.

Frantzis said that many have been handpicked to intern and work with production houses like MTV Arabia, Sama Dubai and Shoof TV.

SAE is also tying up with colleges like the Middlesex University to share some of their technical facilities and supplement the latter's course work with hands-on training in areas like media, while SAE would rely on Middlesex's facilities to impart theoretical classes.

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