Sharjah HCT media student competes for best student film award at Gulf Film Festival

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The loneliness of an abandoned mother is one of the less-discussed issues is the theme of ‘The Old Palm’, a 6-minute short film by the SHCT third year media student Eman Al Suwaidi, who will be competing for the best student film award in the upcoming 5th Gulf Film Festival.

The film has been shortlisted from among 1250 narrative, documentary, animation, and short film entries submitted to this year’s edition of the Gulf Film Festival.

Having made ‘The Old Palm’ with the help of her friends Latifa Mohamed and Fatima Fadil, Al Suwaidi takes her audience on a short, yet emotive journey of an abandoned mother whose only consolation is an old palm tree, which mirrors the woman’s lonely state.

A delighted Al Suwaidi found the opportunity for the public screening of her film during the 5th GFF very thrilling. “This has been very exciting news and a huge step toward achieving my future goals,” says Al Suwaidi. “In our film we tried to tackle an important social issue which, as Emiratis, we have been grappling with for quite some time now.”

Al Suwaidi has no reservation stating how sad she feels about the unfortunate melting down of the ties between some people and their elderly parents.

“Taken my role as the director of ‘The Old Palm’, it may sound strange, but I still feel very sad each time I watch the film, and I hope that the festival audience, too, would be touched in a similar way,” she said.

“I believe that if our film can change the attitude and behavior of even one person toward their elderly parents, we have achieved quite a lot.”

That is, in fact, how the creative team of ‘The Old Palm’ likes to think of and interpret their success. “For us the important thing is the impact that the film hopefully can have on its audience. Winning or not winning is not really the main issue,” stresses Al Suwaidi.

Shahin Yazdani, the Applied Communications faculty member and the producer of ‘The Old Palm’, expressed his happiness over the success of his students.

“I am very proud of, and happy for, the hard-working Eman and her collaborators, and believe that the selection of their film is well-deserved,” Mr. Yazdani said, who has previously supervised a number of award-winning films such as Maysoon Al Ali’s ‘Nations and Tribes’ and Fatima Musharbek’s Rabbit Hole.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of the organizers of the Gulf Film Festival, this annual cinematic event plays a vital role in enriching the cultural and artistic landscape of the UAE in that it provides an important platform for both emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their works, exchange views, and gain some invaluable experiences,” he added.

“One of our aims here at Sharjah Women’s College is to contribute, as much as possible, to this cultural and artistic dialogue, and we do this by way of mentoring, encouraging, and challenging our students in their filmmaking endeavor.”

Screening Information ‘The Old Palm’ is as follows:

1- Thursday, April 12th, 2012 – 4:45 PM – Grand Cinema 12 – Festival City.
2- Saturday, April 14th, 2012 – 2:30 PM – Grand Cinema 2 – Festival City.

To watch the trailers of “The Old Palm” go to:

Arabic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwPTMid8enA&feature=relmfu

English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5Dw3xzxCWM