Dubai Studio City Launches CineMENA

Dubai Studio City – the region’s leading business community for the broadcasting, production and events sectors recently announced the launch of CineMENA, a unique platform that celebrates the art of content creation and nurtures local talent in the field.

The initiative aims to assist budding filmmakers and content creators in enhancing their skills through an annual agenda of events which include workshops, masterclasses and training sessions by industry influencers, actors and filmmakers.

Set to officially take place in February 2019, CineMENA will comprise multiple activations, an exhibition showcasing the latest technologies and trends, outdoor film screenings, and thought sessions focused on all aspects of the art and craft of content creation.

CineMENA will also introduce a new competition to recognize local and regional talent across four categories – Best Short Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Music Video, and Best Film inspired by the Founding Father of the UAE, Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Winners will be selected by a specialized jury committee.

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, said: “In line with our core priority of nurturing a creative community through identifying, supporting and honing talent in the media and content creation industry, we are proud to announce the launch of CineMENA, our new platform that celebrates excellence in media across the MENA region.”

He added: “The media industry today features multiple platforms for different types of content creators and some of these stipulate a high number of followers as a prerequisite. In contrast, CineMENA caters to all ages and levels of expertise – from new entrants to seasoned professionals – equipping participants with the necessary skills and tools to create engaging content. Local content from the MENA region has a relatively low representation on a global level. We are keen for CineMENA to change the status quo through actively promoting locally produced content in both Arabic and English. We aspire to bring together passionate individuals to learn, generate content, and network with other members and stakeholders of the creative community.”

Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of the Dubai Film and TV Commission, said: “For over a decade, there has been no doubt that the region has made significant strides in the content creation industry, and we intend to provide all the facilities to support our local talent. With CineMENA, we aim to build a platform where content creators can learn, inspire, network and explore new prospects. The initiative is poised to benefit all aspiring creators, whether they belong to the filmmaking, screenwriting, or pre- and post-production fields. CineMENA will provide our young people with an ideal opportunity to showcase their talent while helping develop the regional visual content creation sector and encouraging creativity.”

Over the past three years, Dubai Studio City organized diverse workshops in all aspects of film and media production that saw participation of over 2,000 amateurs and professionals from the region. In 2018, the community hosted 12 workshops in collaboration with the Emirati production house ‘Behind the Scenes’ at In5, Media Innovation Centre in Dubai Production City that supports entrepreneurs and startups in the media domain. Led by Mohammad Salam, Managing Director of Behind the Scenes, and conducted by award-winning specialists, the workshops covered topics such as Sound Recording, Cinematography, Voice and Speech, Post-production, and Directing.



Sources: Tabloid, MENA Herald and Digital Studio Middle East

Sumer Kotwal and Gaurav Maitreya Win Gold at the UAE Young Lions Digital Competition 2018

Motivate and Motivate Val Morgan – the official UAE representative of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, hosted the 16th UAE Young Lions Digital Competition on 21st April 2018 at Motivate Offices in Dubai Media City. The Judging and Awards Ceremony took place on 23rd April 2018 at In5 Media Innovation Centre in Dubai Production City.

A jury panel comprising Executive Creative Directors and Creative Directors from Dubai’s leading advertising agencies selected Sumer Kotwal (Art Director) and Gaurav Maitreya (Copywriter) – who entered as a freelance team, as the Gold winners of this year’s competition. The wining team was selected from 17 participating teams, and will be flown on an all-expense paid trip to Cannes to represent the UAE at the International Young Lions Digital Competition, which will be held in June 2018.


Maram Ashour (Art Director) and Rohit Venkatesh (Copywriter) from Ogilvy One came in second to win Silver, while Felipe Menezes (Art Director) and Waleed Bachnak (Copywriter) who entered a freelance team bagged Bronze.

Other participating agencies at this year’s competition included: FP7, JWT, Saatchi and Saatchi Dubai, Impact BBDO, Serviceplan Middle East, Momentum MENA, Socialize, TBWA, Science & Sunshine, Memac Ogilvy and DDB.



SNIFF – a rescue group for abandoned dogs and cats that actively promotes fostering and adoption of mixed breed animals in the UAE, was this year’s partner not-for-profit organization.

This year’s UAE Young Lions Digital Competition was held in association with our long-standing partner, Dubai Media City, and was supported by Getty Images and Xerox Emirates.

Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner, Motivate Group said: “The fantastic work produced by these young creatives continues to impress me every year. This is our 16th year hosting this competition and I can confidently say that the strength of the region’s talent continues to grow at an extremely fast pace. That’s why we are pleased to be able to give them the opportunity to represent the UAE in Cannes. I wish Sumer Kotwal and Gaurav Maitreya the best of luck, and I’m sure they will be great ambassadors for creativity in our region. ”

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City said: “The Young Lions Competition is a globally renowned platform for digital enthusiasts, bringing the youth together to present their creativity. We are proud to once again partner with the UAE Young Lions and Motivate and act as a platform for local talent to be recognised internationally at the Cannes Festival. At Dubai Media City, we have always focused on creating opportunities for our community to be creatively active in Dubai and beyond, with the support of in5 media as well. We would like to thank all the participants for their positive energy, passion and commitment, and our heartiest congratulations to all the winners.”

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications. It offers five days of award ceremonies, seminars, workshops, master classes, exhibitions, screenings and networking. The 65th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will run from 18th to 22nd June 2018 in Cannes, France.

Congratulations to the winners and a job well done to all 17 teams that participated in this year’s competition.

We look forward to receiving many more registrations next year round.