MAHE Dubai set to host region’s largest short film festival

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 6:50 PM

As Dubai and the UAE welcome back the season of events, awards and cinemas, the region’s biggest short film festival organised by an academic institution is poised to return with an incredible list of more than 5,100 submissions from 118 countries and a glittering awards night line-up.

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The third edition of the White Oryx International Short Film Festival (WOIS), an initiative by the school of media and communication at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Dubai, is scheduled to take place on December 7, 8 and 9 at the Conference Centre, Dubai Knowledge Park, and will end with a grand awards ceremony where the winning filmmakers will be presented with the coveted Golden Oryx Awards and special prizes.

Dr Percy Fernandez, chairperson of the school of media and communications, MAHE Dubai, said: “WOIS was launched in 2018 as an earnest effort by faculty and student members of MAHE Dubai, and since then has grown to be critically acclaimed and among the biggest such venture in the region.”

“This year, we were overwhelmed with the huge number of submissions both locally and from all over the world, and the festival will screen some exemplary submissions curated by the student team. Makers of short films have some of the most original and fascinating stories to share, so we are very excited that WOIS is a film festival to be reckoned with among film-makers and audiences in the region and beyond,” Dr Fernandez added.

The theme of this year’s edition is ‘Sound in Cinema’ and award-winning Indian music composer and director Daniel B George, will be the chief guest for the festival. George, whose musical association with Bollywood spans the likes of Andhadhun, Pink, 3 Idiots, Munna Bhai MBBS and most recently Judgementall Hai Kya, has also composed the WOIS theme track this year, tying it to the theme for the festival. “The White Oryx International Short Film Festival is a platform for all kinds of expressions and the individual portrayals of the way they would like to see things – that’s why it is so special and unique from everyone,” George said.

Along with screening of selected short films, the three-day festival will also host a series of workshops on filmmaking for interested school and university students as well as filmmakers from the region.

On its closing day, WOIS film festival will premiere a short film called Tumhare Bina by award-winning Indian film maker Shailendra Jha. “WOIS provides a fantastic platform for a broad range of filmmakers – whether local or global, offering them a deck from where they can dream of launching their own Titanic. I am incredibly happy to have the premiere of my film Tumhare Bina scheduled during the closing ceremony of WOIS,” Jha said.

Since its inception in 2018, WOIS film festival has created an opportunity to showcase, celebrate, and nurture the art and culture of filmmaking in the UAE. WOIS has empowered dozens of amateur filmmakers to showcase their works of passion as they develop their talents through the festival's learning atmosphere comprising of free film screenings, workshops, competitions, and networking opportunities.

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