Photos by Fahad al HadramiThe Ain Short Film Festival’s main committee held a press conference to unveil details about the festival’s inaugural edition, organised by the Ministry of Information through the General Directorate of Electronic Media. The festival is scheduled to take place from January 24 to 28, 2024.
Saleh bin Ahmed al Muqeemi, the artistic director of the Ain Film Festival, expressed, “The competition emerged to promote various facets of arts and culture, coinciding with the launch of the Ain platform, which hosts various genres of visual works. The need to establish the Short Film Festival arose to enhance the film industry in the Sultanate of Oman and support both professional and emerging filmmakers. The goal is to contribute to the development of the creative content industry.”
The artistic director emphasised that the festival would significantly contribute to Omani creative content. It will provide opportunities for both professional and emerging film-makers to participate in three main categories: short narrative films (5 to 30 minutes), short documentary films (5 to 30 minutes), and children’s films (5 to 15 minutes).
The competition has outlined several rules and regulations. Participants must be Omanis, and the film’s producer or director is responsible for the full intellectual property rights. The film or any part of it should not have been previously screened, broadcast, or made available on any television channel, Internet platform, mobile phone, or any public platform worldwide. The competition requires films to be submitted in Arabic, including all Omani dialects. The platform has the right to broadcast the participating films, and festival registration implies relinquishing rights to the platform.
The total value of the award is RO 42,000, distributed among the best screenplay, best cinematography, best actor and actress award, editing, soundtrack, and cinematic make-up, in addition to the grand prizes such as the best film in the three competitions.
Moreover, the festival includes a series of workshops aimed at building the technical skills of aspiring film-makers. These workshops cover various aspects of film-making, including screenplay writing, cinematography, production, film criticism, and the practical realities of the cinematic market, both regionally and globally. The goal is to nurture the talents of emerging professionals in the field of film-making.
He added that the themes for participation include good citizenship, tourism, youth and sports, the technological and digital future, artificial intelligence, and social media. Through these themes, the festival aims to address the positives and negatives of society, as well as aspects of humanity, culture, Omani identity, sciences, knowledge, and social issues.