The Future of Emirati Filmmaking - a discussion with Nawaf Al Janahi


Last month I was invited to moderate a talk with film director Nawaf Al Janahi at the recently opened Apple store in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

The talk was about the future of Emirati filmmaking, and the conversation I had with Nawaf looked at the short history Emirati, the Emirati Cinema campaign, questioning the definition of an Emirati film, i.e. is it only based on the nationality. We also discussed the level of film industry in the UAE, the impact of international films being shot in the UAE, the role of film festivals, distributors, film criticism and more.

I wanted to have this discussion with Nawaf for a while but never got a chance to schedule it, so I'm glad this opportunity came up when Apple invited me to moderate this talk at their store.

The talk is now on Apple's podcast and you can listen to it here. Or you can click on the image below.


About Nawaf Al Janahi:

Nawaf Al Janahi is an Emirati film director born in 1977. He's produced and directed award-winning independent short films which were recognized globally at many well known international film festivals. His last short film, "Mirrors of Silence", was highly celebrated by film critics and audiences alike, and has been officially selected in over 22 international film festivals around the world, frequently the only film from the United Arab Emirates represented.

His first feature length film, "The Circle", was screened in many international film festivals, and was described by film critics as "a major turning point in Emirati and Gulf cinema". Al Janahi's second feature film "Sea Shadow" had its world premiere in Abu Dhabi Film Festival (2011), and was then released in cinemas across the Arabian Gulf. Competing with Hollywood blockbusters, the film reached in the 1st week the 2nd place in the top 5 movies in UAE, the biggest cinema market in the Arab world. Later, the film went on a global tour to over 22 countries, the most remarkable tour for an Emirati feature film to date