'I would like people to make their own opinions'

Gousia Ahmad caught up with Abdul Hameed Al Juma, Chairman Dubai International Film Festival.

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Published: Tue 15 Apr 2008, 11:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:43 PM

How would you comment on the quality of films being brought to the Gulf Film Festival?

I would like people to make their own opinions and comments on the films. This is an industry with flourishing potential and we are only in the initial stage; the Gulf Film Festival is an attempt to add momentum and drive to the budding film industry of the region. We have had a close screening of the films and made the effort to bring the best to the audience; the rest is public opinion. We too will need to wait and listen.

To what extent do you think these film festivals are helping nurture Emirati talent even further?

By creating a platform to showcase what is being produced and thought of in the region will accelerate talent. When all these young people are interacting and exchanging ideas, they are also transferring that energy to do more. It is a shared success story. With more festivals and more films, talent will only get better and not just locally but regionally as well. We have had an 11-year old Emirati girl coming with an animated film so the message is to encourage everyone.

Like Hollywood is to America and Bollywood to India, what term would you coin for Dubai's upcoming film industry?

Not Dollywood.

These glamorous cultural events make Dubai look good and think better; would you say there is a conscious effort to create a cultural movement in Dubai?

With the establishment of the Dubai Art and Culture Authority we are bringing culture under one umbrella. There is a conscious and integrated effort being made to facilitate culture and art on a wider spectrum and we are generating appreciation and awareness in the audience.

What more does Dubai need to do in order to establish a thriving film industry?

The film business is long and complicated with emphasis on details and there are many details. We are laying the infrastructure, providing the options for outdoor shooting, building studios, garnering talent and creating an audience. Most of the pillars are in place and the other elements will add on.

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