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Shorts Helping Gulf Filmmakers Launch Feature Careers

by Debra Kamin.

Just like the cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, which have sprouted from the desert in a flurry of glass and steel, the film industry in the Persian Gulf has been built from scratch. But while the cities of this region are quite literally built on sand, their film fests are making a solid statement with attention to short films, which offer the burgeoning young filmmakers of the Gulf a solid foothold from which to launch their careers.

“Short films are accessible. It’s something you can do with friends on a weekend if you want to,” says Ben Caddy of ExtraCake, creator of the Middle East Film & Comic Con, which this summer joined forces with the Dubai Intl. Film Fest to launch a short film competition.

The winning script, “Serenity Now,” a sci-fi treatment set in a post-apocalyptic universe, was selected by screenwriter Max Landis and will be produced locally by Dubai’s Attitude Enterprises. The entry was plucked from more than 40 applicants, a turnout that pleases DIFF managing director Shivani Pandya.

“The level of creativity in the entries to this competition just shows the talent bubbling under the surface in this region,” she says.

Read the rest of this article from Variety.

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