(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha, Qatar: TOD announces winners of its Summer Short Film Festival, which drew over 100 entries from countries across MENA. The winning entries are short films 'Batch 10' by Sana Al Ansari (Qatar), 'ILL' by Sana Al Habib (Tunisia), and 'Perfect Match' by Aladdin Gaber (Egypt).
Launched in line with the platform's aim of promoting and nurturing regional talent, an internal jury at TOD selected the winning selections based on overall concept, plot execution, tone and topic, originality, and structure, shooting and production values, editing quality, cultural significance, and adherence to copyright rules.
Among the winning line-up is Qatari Sana Al Ansari, who holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MA from UCL. Her winning documentary 'Batch 10', tells the personal journey of two soldiers who underwent national military service and the obstacles they faced.
“It shows how this military service has impacted them in a positive way despite the struggles they had leaving their families behind,” explained Sana who says making the film was one of the most challenging things she had to do in her whole life.“In the end, it was a rewarding one,” she adds.
Sana Al Habib, an actor, and recent graduate from Tunisia's Universite Centrale admits to being captivated by the magic of storytelling combined with a love of dance and performance. Her film 'ILL' delves into the turbulent journey of Sahar, a young girl who grapples with her inability to express emotions and gradually slides into a questioning of her existence and her place in the world. The film reveals the hidden struggles of Sahar's mental disorders, giving voice to the complexity of her emotions.
Sana said the success of her entry is“a powerful affirmation of the dedication and passion that went into creating the film, and it motivates me to continue telling stories that resonate with audiences on a deeply personal level.”
“My film embodies a universal message. By approaching mental health from a human perspective rather than a regional one, I aim for each individual to find a personal connection, whether through a word, an image, or a feeling. My primary intent is to spark open conversations and break the stigma surrounding mental health issues,” she added.
Egypt's High Cinema Institute student Aladdin Gaber also ranked among the winners for his production 'Perfect Match' a dark comedy that explores fears of technology and its future use. His protagonist Anas, is a young man who's looking for the love of his life through anapp, until he finds her only to tumble into unexpected events. Aladdin too, felt the competition has proved to be a welcome confidence boost.“I am truly excited and more motivated than ever to make more films,” he said.
The winning films will now be streamed on TOD, the region's leading sports and entertainment streaming platform.
“Our congratulations go to all the winners who faced fierce competition demonstrating the wealth of filming talent in the region,” commented John Paul McKerlie, VP of Marketing and Sales at TOD.“We received an overwhelming response and interest from filmmakers and institutes from the region for our first-ever short film festival. It was a welcome surprise and further affirms our belief in the region's immense indigenous creative talent. We hope this competition and the winning entries encourage not only aspiring filmmakers, but everyone in the entertainment sector in MENA to get behind the treasure trove of talent we have in this region, which deserves our unified support,” he added.
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