Two UAE filmmakers selected in program connecting US and global storytellers

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Alwiya Al-Thani
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Rami Yasin
Updated 18 June 2017
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Two UAE filmmakers selected in program connecting US and global storytellers

ABU DHABI: Two filmmakers from Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a leading media and entertainment company, are representing the UAE in this year’s Global Media Makers program, an innovative cultural exchange program that fosters supportive ongoing relationships between leading US and international filmmaking talent.
The UAE’s Alwiya Al-Thani and Rami Yasin join 14 other filmmakers from around the world as they participate in the six-week residency program based in LA. Al-Thani is an Emirati director and Image Nation Abu Dhabi production manager, while Yasin has produced on a number of Image Nation feature films, including “The Worthy” and “Zinzana.”
Now in its second year, Global Media Makers fosters and strengthens creative collaboration among leading US entertainment professionals and international filmmaking talent in a bid to bridge cultures and connect storytellers.
As part of the robust program, Al-Thani and Yasin will attend specially tailored mentorships, workshops and master classes, as well as participate in intensive filmmaking labs, from screenwriting to creative producing, in order to advance projects they are developing with a team of leading American mentors and gain first-hand experience of the global film industry.
Al-Thani said: “I’m of course honored to be part of this unique opportunity. Global Media Makers is one more step forward in my development, and this time with an international focus. The experience and the mentoring I receive can only help me grow, and hopefully inspire other Emirati filmmakers or those interested in working in the industry to join it.”
The program will also extend beyond the physical education, business training and professional networking opportunities provided in LA as the Global Media Makers mentors and staff will also have the opportunity to visit the filmmakers in their home countries. Here they will offer film and media workshops to the local filmmaking communities while continuing to create positive dialogues and enhanced cross-cultural understandings through the visits.
Al-Thani and Yasin along with the other fellows, will also receive yearlong support to develop their projects remotely and will be eligible to apply for Film Independent grants.
Global Media Makers is supported through a partnership between Film Independent and the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.


‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ blurs the line between good and bad

A still from the kid-friendly film. (Sony Pictures Animation)
Updated 23 July 2018
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‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ blurs the line between good and bad

  • The characters are sharply etched out, with pointed features and wonderful detail

CHENNAI: Nothing can be compared to Japanese animation, especially the works of cinematic art created by Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” “The Wind Rises”), which is not just sharply political but also intensely emotional. In comparison, American animated films may seem somewhat plastic, though the Hotel Transylvania franchise has risen above the mundane. The latest installment,” Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation,” from director Genndy Tartakovsky, depicts a battle between good and evil.
The plot sees Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), her human husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) and the entire monster entourage go on a cruise vacation to Atlantis. On board, widowed and lonely Dracula falls head over heels in love with the director of the event, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). However — plot twist! — she is a human being and several centuries younger. Even worse, she is the granddaughter of the legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), whose bitter enmity with Dracula dates back to the 1800s. It is liberally interspersed with humor, which comes courtesy of the Mummy, the Invisible Man and the giant puppy that Dracula's grandson smuggles aboard the ship.
Tartakovsky, who helmed all three editions of the franchise, undoubtedly employed a brilliant set of animators — the characters are sharply etched out, with pointed features and wonderful detail. The wit flows at a breathless pace, but what is lacking is a certain novelty, which one expects in an ongoing series.
One plus point is that parents will not find themselves wanting for entertainment. Dracula's romance with Ericka may be lost on children, but it will keep the adults entertained. At 97 minutes long, however, the film could have been far more fantastic.