British Council dares GCC youth to make films with smartphones

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Poster of the competition. (Photo courtesy: British Council)
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Oscar winning British director Asif Kapadia. (Photo courtesy: British Council)
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Abdullah Alkaabi, an Emarati film director of Only Men Go to the Grave, The Philosopher, Koshk, winner of Best Muhr Emirati Feature Award and has been Nominated for Best Emirati Director Award. (Photo courtesy: British Council)
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English actress and writer, Amy Lowe. (Photo courtesy: British Council)
Updated 05 December 2017
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British Council dares GCC youth to make films with smartphones

JEDDAH: The British Council launched the “Small Screen, Short Film” festival on November 28, the first short film festival for young and ambitious filmmakers in the region.
Young filmmakers from the GCC can apply to the program whether they are residents or citizens, or citizens living in the UK. They can participate by creating a short film that does not exceed three minutes via their smartphones.
The British Council official Twitter account tweeted on December 1: “Think you can make a great short film using your smartphone or tablet? Then check Small Screen, Big Film, a filmmaking competition and online film festival for filmmakers in the Gulf or Gulf nationals living in the UK.”
The official account of British Council also tweeted: “Aged 14-25 and from the Gulf? The first ever Gulf smartphone film festival is now open for entries! 2 categories with 20 films screened online in March. Visit: http://bit.ly/SmallScreenBigFilm … | #keepitshort #competition”
Rehana Mughal, the British Council’s senior program manager for culture and sport in the Gulf, told Arab News: “Short films are a work of fiction; it can be based on reality; or drama or comedy, and can be in either animation or live action.” ​
She added: “The medium of short film allows for ease of making and the equipment of a smartphone or tablet means most people have access. “
To help filmmakers develop their entries, the British Council has partnered with IntoFilm, a British film-based educational charity, to create a step-by-step smartphone film guide, available for download from the festival website.
The competition also has a jury of renowned GCC and UK filmmakers who will shortlist films to be screened to a global audience during the online festival from March 15-25, 2018.
Jury members already confirmed include Emirati director Abdulla Al Kaabi, best known for his recent critically acclaimed film “Only Men Go to the Grave” (2017); Academy Award and four time BAFTA award-winning British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, whose documentaries “Amy” (2015) and “Senna” (2010) won him high praise; and English actress and writer, Amy Lowe, will also be among the jury.
Of the shortlisted films to be screened in March 2018 during the festival, four winners will be selected to receive one-on-one workshops with UK film talent.
Speaking of the program launch, Amir Ramzan, Saudi Arabia country director at the British Council, said: “Over our years in the Gulf, we’ve seen a growing passion among young people toward sport and culture in their communities, and have created the culture and sport program to provide a platform to support and grow this talent. We believe that everyone should be able to reap the benefits that being involved in sporting and cultural activities can bring, the idea being to help young people understand that you don’t necessarily have to be an artist or a footballer to be successful in this field and that there are many exciting career opportunities in these sectors.”


Houthis targetted civilian facility in Najran with an explosives-laden drone, says Arab Coalition

Updated 21 May 2019
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Houthis targetted civilian facility in Najran with an explosives-laden drone, says Arab Coalition

  • Houthis also fired two ballistic missiles toward the holy city of Makkah and Jeddah on Monday

RIYADH: Houthi militants had tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition said the target was a vital facility.
"The Houthi-backed terrorist militia of Iran continues to carry out acts of terrorism that pose a real threat to regional and international security by targeting civilian objects and civilian facilities, as well as civilian citizens and residents of all nationalities," Al-Maliki said.

The statement did not mention casualties and gave no further details.

Earlier on Monday, Al-Maliki said Houthis fired two ballistic missiles toward the holy city of Makkah and Jeddah but both were shot down by Saudi air defense forces.

The Iran-backed Houthis have fired dozens of missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, since the Arab Coalition intervened in 2015 to restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which was ousted in a Houthi coup.