Abu Dhabi, UAE –The winning film of the Smovies’ fifth season is Vasilis Blioumis “Walking With You” which has started screening at VOX Cinemas across the UAE, Oman and Lebanon. The film, which focuses on how a woman bravely battles breast cancer, beat a shortlist of 24 films.
The Smovies, which was launched in 2014 by BrandMoxie, a leading marketing firm in the UAE, is aimed at encouraging budding filmmakers and identifying emerging talent. The competition, with VOX Cinemas as strategic partners, is open to students, amateurs and professionals, whose submissions are one minute long short films shot with a camera or smart phone.
The fifth season’s theme, “Born to Challenge,” attracted submissions from across the country. It was supported by Infiniti of Arabian Automobiles in Dubai and the US Embassy Abu Dhabi. Previous Smovies challenges included one on cinema etiquette, and the others were titled “The Message”, “Why I Love UAE”, and “I Have a Dream”.
Sana Bagersh, founder of The Smovies praised the quality of submissions, and said that Blioumis’ film was chosen by The Smovies’ jury because of the delicate way it handled a difficult subject. “It’s a moving film and the actors do a magnificent job. A disease like cancer is devastating on many levels, but in this film Blioumis beautifully portrays a woman who comes to term with herself even as her looks change and people around her see her differently,” said Bagersh
The new season has kicked off with the theme “Giving,” reflecting the announcement by HH President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed’s declaring 2017 the year of giving.
Bagersh said the new theme provides broad flexibility for storytellers and has the potential to be adapted into beautiful film on the big screen. “There’s just so much raw untapped talent that we’re very optimistic that we’ll see some great content.”
Film submissions for the new season run through to April 2017. The shortlisted entries will be judged by The Smovies’ jury of film experts: Emirati actor Mansoor Al Feeli (Zinzana), Khaled Al Mahmoud (Sabeel) and Nujoom Al Ghanem (Red, Blue, Yellow), award winning scriptwriter Imad Deiratany, as well as filmmaking instructors and veterans David Moore, Greg Unrau, Mohannad Al Bakri, Dahlia Mahmoud and Michelle Nickelson. All submissions are uploaded to the platform’s own website www.thesmovies.com.
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The Smovies is a short film creation platform that has been launched by BrandMoxie, a leading media group in the UAE involved in marketing, publishing and events. The Smovies is intended to provide an opportunity for emerging filmmakers, by offering recognition and exposure through the platform. The Smovies also embraces new technologies, and promotes the film making capabilities of phones, tablets and other everyday communication terminals. The competitions roll out across three seasons: April to June, July to September and October to December. Other film competitions will focus on narrative and national themes. BrandMoxie’s CSR initiatives include Tempo, a community focused magazine, Tamakkan, an entrepreneurship and innovation platform, and The Dream Players, a programme that supports the performing arts. BrandMoxie is based in twofour54, Park Rotana Complex, Abu Dhabi UAE www.thesmovies.com www.brandmoxie.com www.tamakkan.com
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U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi is dedicated to strengthening US-UAE partnerships in diplomacy, commerce, trade, regional security, education, art and culture. The Embassy engages with a wide range of local partners to encourage broader and deeper understanding between the people of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.