Friday, December 25, 2015

Emirati Filmmaker Abdullah Ahmed wins the MoI Cinema Award

Praised by local and Arab Dignitaries and Actors

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Saturday, December 19th 2015 [ME NewsWire]

Lt. Colonel Faisal Mohammed Al Shimmari, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the Ministry of Interior's Cinematic Awards (MOICA), announced that Emirati filmmaker Abdullah Hassan Ahmed the spotlight by winning the Ministry of Interior’s Award, along with a staggering prize of USD 100,000, for ‘Best Societal Screenplay’.

The announcement of the deserving winner took place during the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), where director Abdullah Ahmed won the MoI ‘Best Societal Screenplay’ Award for his film titled “Sunrise”. The prize falls in line with the MoI’s endeavors to support Emirati and Arab talents and to develop the film industry in the Arab world. This is achieved by empowering innovative individuals and supporting them to produce noble material that address the issues of all segments of the society in a constructive, purposeful and unconventional manner that do not resort to a negative approach or criticism. This would serve the strategies of the ministry in regards to spreading stability, security and safety in the society.

Moreover, Saeed Salmeen’s “Going to Heaven” film won the Emirati Muhr Award for the Best Feature Film. Salmeen had won the MoI Cinema Awards for ‘Best Societal Screenplay’ with this film in 2014. This is testament that the valuable support extended by the MoI to creative individuals has achieved the desired goals in promoting and supporting the Arab film industry. Both awards embody the concerted efforts and purposeful partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) that aim to promote the societal mission of cinema in reaching a broad range of community members, and to avail of local and Arab talents to serve society and address societal issues.

Lt. Colonel Faisal Mohammed Al Shimmari, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the Ministry of Interior's Cinematic Awards said: “We are delightfully happy to see that the film ‘Going to Heaven’ has won the Emirati Muhr Award for the Best Feature Film, and that the Emirati filmmaker Abdullah Hassan Ahmed’s film titled ‘Sunrise’ won the Best Societal Screenplay Award. Both awards are a clear call for more opportunities to encourage further creativity and innovative individuals to address societal issues, based on an unconventional approach, and to renew the MoI’s partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival as a key enabler for such endeavors.”

He added: “Our partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for the second consecutive year increases the opportunities to empower innovative Emirati and Arab individuals, and to allow them to transform their ideas, innovations and screenplays into film projects of significant impact to the community and address societal issues.”

In conclusion, Lt. Colonel Al Shimmari expressed his hopes for writers to take part in shedding light on societal issues in a constructive manner that provides solutions to address such issues and involves community members so as to become an integral part of the solution. This may be achieved through innovative and unconventional methods.

For his part, Emirati filmmaker Abdullah Hassan Ahmed, Director of the ‘Sunrise’ film that won the MoI’s ‘Best Societal Screenplay Award’ at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) said: “Emirati filmmakers are fortunate to have such a highly coveted and envied award, ,” noting that the MoI provides unrelenting support to all innovative Emirati individuals.

Abdullah Hassan Ahmed expressed his happiness with winning this award and praised the MoI’s efforts and commitment to provide community members with security, peace of mind and opportunities to fulfill their dreams. He also noted that the Ministry is a role model to be emulated, not only as a security entity, but most importantly as a social entity that supports Emirati talents.

He expressed his heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the MoI’s officials, the organizers of the festival, and all entities that support innovative and creative national talents and encourage them to participate in such international events.

Boxed Text 1: Salmeen: The MoI’s support is the reason for my success

Emirati director Saeed Salmeen Al Murry, winner of the Muhr Emirati Best Feature Film Award for 2015, said that this he owes his success to the Ministry of Interior’s support, led by the generous sponsor, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.”His Highness has many a times assured his unrelenting support for innovative and talented individuals in various fields, because they are the reflection of society; and has endeavored to enhance communication with community members, all of which had a significant impact on allowing me to win this award,” he noted. He also explained that the ministry’s support for his work has already allowed him to win the ‘Best Societal Screenplay’ Award in last year’s edition of DIFF.

Adding further, Salmeen said: “I wanted the entire people of the United Arab Emirates to share this moment with me. To this end, I have made sure to dedicate this award to Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and to all the UAE people. This for me is a simple way of showing gratitude to the generous support given to us by our beloved country.”

Moreover, Salmeen noted that winning the ‘Best Societal Screenplay’ Award in last year’s edition of DIFF has been an incentive for him to make this film, which competed with and outshined five other Emirati feature films in the Muhr Emirati category, which recognizes Emirati talent.

 “The touching film follows the life of young teenager Sultan, an 11-year old boy, who is longing for the tenderness of his late yet ever-present mother, while suffering under the reign of his cruel stepmother, and the cold and silent treatment of his distant father, drowning in his own obsessions, needs and queries,” he continued.

“The important turn of events in the film begins when the child discovers by chance an old box with a picture of his late grandmother that he’d never seen before, with her address in the emirate of Fujairah written on the back side. He also finds in the box a tape with his Grandma’s warm voice describing intimate family moments and self-reflections. He decides to sets off on a extraordinary journey to Fujairah with his friend to seek out his absent grandmother despite the obstacles, barriers, and weird coincidences they encounter on their tiring trip,” he said.

Emirati director Saeed Salmeen noted that the film aims to provide different images about childhood and the journey of self-discovery, as well as the clash of personal destinies and dreams with fates and coincidences in a society where young people are overwhelmed by modern aspects of life and have forgotten the warmth of grandparents’ tales.

Boxed text 2: Praises from Arab and local artists

The Ministry of Interior’s Award was at the heart of the discussions and debates that took place at the festival; and was also highly praised via Arab media and by Arab and local artists.

Dr. Habib Ghuloom urged the organizers of the Ministry of Interior’s award to never cease their support to filmmakers and young talents. He wished the award many returns in order to allow additional cinematic experiences and new talents to see the light in the industry known as "the seventh art".

For his part, Egyptian actor Sherif Mounir expressed his wish to win an award of the same standing as the Emirati MoI’s Best Societal Screenplay Award. He praised the Ministry of Interior’s endeavor, as a government entity, to provide supports to such serious and meaningful art.

Egyptian actor Hany Ramzy said: “It gives me great pleasure to see the UAE Ministry of Interior taking part in the efforts to produce films and granting awards for films that tackle and address societal issues. This is an unconventional gesture and a great achievement for the MoI, with a significant impact on society”.

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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.


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