Moving Images… The First Initiative for Artistic Filmmaking in Arab World

 

Film still from 'Traitors' Sean Gullette, 2013. Courtesy : Sharjah Art Foundation and Dubai International Film Festival
Film still from ‘Traitors’ Sean Gullette, 2013. Courtesy : Sharjah Art Foundation and Dubai International Film Festival

 

A new initiative by three major players – or lets say titans – in the cultural scene in Arab World: Dubai International Film Festival, Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Dubai came together to create the first hub in the region dedicated for artists’ films and filmmakers’ art: Moving Images a long-term initiative that includes screenings and talks, as well as the sharing of expertise and ideas.

Moving Images epitomizes the shared expertise and combined resources of the three partnering organizations in the field of art and cinema. The program aims to increase access to and the understanding of artists’ films; support artists and filmmakers from the Arab world through new opportunities; and debate existing and future models for funding and distribution through the UAE and beyond.

“As the importance of film as a medium for artistic expression continues to grow, it is critical that artists are able to find support at all stages in the process from the early research and development of an idea through to the realization and release of the final work to an audience.

 President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi

 

Moving Images begins with a discussion on Monday December 9, part of the Dubai Film Market’s discussion program, involving speakers from across the worlds of art and film. The partnership continues throughout the year, with screenings in Dubai and Sharjah, and with specially-curated programs at the Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Dubai in March 2014. The initiative offers insights into the confluence between art and film—from the role of the arts foundation to directors, producers, critics, gallerists and distributors.

Speakers include Eve Gabereau—Managing Director, Soda Pictures; Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi—President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation; Sean Gullette—Actor/Director, Traitors; Omar Kholeif—writer/curator and founder-director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival; Simon Field—writer, curator, director; producer, New Crowned Hope film series; Hakim Belabbes—director, lecturer in film at the School of the Art, Institute of Chicago; Claudia Cellini—co-founder and director, the Third Line; Umer Butt—Founder and Co-Director, Grey Noise; and Antonia Carver—Fair Director, Art Dubai.

Film still from 'Traitors' Sean Gullette, 2013. Courtesy : Sharjah Art Foundation and Dubai International Film Festival
Film still from ‘Traitors’ Sean Gullette, 2013. Courtesy : Sharjah Art Foundation and Dubai International Film Festival

 

For the past ten years, alongside contemporary world cinema, the Dubai International Film Festival has actively promoted experimental film and documentary from the Arab world; the festival has become an essential Launchpad for upcoming film talent.

“Moving Images explores the intersection of visual art and film, two disciplines that are very closely linked. Visual aesthetic is a crucial part of cinema, with filmmakers using it to shape and create characters and worlds. Both art and film are exceptional mediums for encouraging thought, presenting new ideas, and inspiring audiences.”

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director, Dubai International Film Festival

 

Sharjah Art Foundation—with its dedicated outdoor cinema, is strongly committed to supporting artists working with film and video. The foundation has a solid record of commissioning, producing and showcasing artists’ films through its year-round exhibitions and the Biennial, and has awarded grants through its ‘Production Program’ to artists and filmmakers: Mario Rizzi’s ‘Al Intithar’ and Sean Gullette’s ‘Traitors’, both co-produced by Sharjah Art Foundation, screen at DIFF this year.

“Sharjah Art Foundation has helped many artists throughout this process over the years and we are pleased to be part of this important new initiative that will benefit both artists and the growing audience for film in the UAE.”

President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi

Over the past 8 years, Art Dubai has become a major meeting point for artists, gallerists, collectors, writers and producers. Galleries note an increased interest in film and video, while the fair’s not-for-profit program has a strong emphasis on artists’ film.

“The last 15 years have seen the rise of artists’ film and video in the Arab world; now seems like an crucial time to examine this movement and its relationship with cinema.”

 

Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai

Cheers

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