The 10th edition of the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival (ZUMEFF) concluded with Ali Lari, an aspiring UAE filmmaker, taking home the prestigious twofour54 Emerging Filmmaker Award.
ZUMEFF, an annual student film festival, aims to inspire young filmmakers in the region and in its tenth edition featured films from 16 countries. twofour54, Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment hub, partnered with Zayed University for the sixth time in a row as part of its ongoing commitment to nurturing creativity among youth.
This year’s prize for the twofour54 Emerging Filmmaker Award draws on the strength of twofour54’s creative community, with the winner and their film being profiled through original content developed by twofour54’s community. This content will range from professionally rendered video interviews to print articles and will be prominently featured on twofour54’s social media channels.
The judges chose Ali Lari, after viewing his award-winning film ‘Rose’, which he both wrote and directed. The film is a story about kindness and paying it forward, revolving around an everlasting rose which is passed on in gratitude among a spectrum of people living in the UAE.
H.E. Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said: “ZUMEFF is an unmissable platform for the region’s students to showcase their creativity. It is playing an important role in enabling our youth to develop their talent, a goal that we share at twofour54.
“As the capital for content creators, we are committed to developing young filmmaking talent across the region. We are delighted to sponsor the twofour54 Emerging Filmmaker Award, which will harness both our creative community and platform to raise the profile of our young filmmakers with the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. I’m confident that this will help Ali hone his talent and passion into a successful career.”
twofour54’s support for ZUMEFF is one of numerous youth initiatives that help it encourage more young people to explore careers in the media industry. Other initiatives include the twofour54 Summer Camp, a bilingual two-week programme that provides hands-on learning across media-related subjects for children, and an internship programme that offers young people work experience on major regional and international film productions.