International Exchange Programme Saudi Arabia Trip

FUNN, the Sharjah-based foundation dedicated to promoting media arts for children and youth in the UAE, has announced its International Exchange Programme 2016 in cooperation with Noon Art Production in Saudi Arabia. This year, the  foundation sent one of its students to participate in a workshop on short documentary filmmaking at the Culture and Arts Society in Dammam from 31 March – 7 April 2016.
The Emirati FUNN student, Yusuf Al-Qassab, aged 15, was chosen to join the workshop due to his filmmaking talent and innovations in the field of theatre, and participated alongside Saudi school students ages 14-18.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN, said that the International Exchange Programme 2016 helps enrich the experience of participating students and provides them with basic script-writing skills. It also allows them to raise questions and discuss various topics with documentary filmmaking professionals.
She pointed out that this specialised workshop on short documentary filmmaking taught industry concepts and techniques through hands-on experience. It also allowed young UAE innovators to refine their skills and collaborate with their classmates to produce high-quality films capable of attracting an audience.
The workshop, introduced by Saudi Filmmaker, Ahmed Alshayeb, Creative Director at Noon Art Production and Programme Director at Saudi Film Festival, focused on group documentary filmmaking and the development of participants’ filmmaking capabilities.
Commenting on this collaboration, Ahmed al-Mulla, Director of the Saudi Film Festival, said: “The International Exchange Programme projects are important for the creation of the next filmmaking generation in the GCC and the enhancement of awareness in an area rich in cultural resources perfect for film documentation.”
He added: “Our main objective is to encourage and train, as well as to facilitate exchange of experience and increased cooperation in the future. Cinema is not an obstacle in the way of enthusiastic and productive youth – there are many young people in the world who have been awarded international prizes and have impressed audiences  with their unique ideas. The Gulf is a rich environment with a promising future in the field of filmmaking. Our mission at the Saudi Film Festival and Culture and Arts Society in Dammam is to embrace and train these talents.”
The seven-day workshop covered a range of film-related topics:  day one dealt with methods of research on venue, preparation, work objectives and storytelling; on day two, a number of short documentaries were analysed by the participants in order to correctly approach the subject and recognise the challenges; on day three, the participants composed questions, connected them with certain elements in the films, held interviews, collected archives, and documented relevant materials and places; days four and five of the workshop were dedicated to filming; and day six to editing. The seventh and last day was allocated to showing the students’ projects and to a discussion session with the documentary filmmakers.
The workshop helped participating students to produce one-of-a-kind documentaries, gain experience in teamwork and communication, and benefit from one another’s expertise