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AUS graduates to showcase short film at Cannes Film Festival
Two American University of Sharjah (AUS) alumni have been selected to show their film Shattered at the Short Film Corner of the 69th edition of the of the Cannes Film Festival held May 11-22, 2016. Eman Samir Zakaria and Farah Sobhy, mass communication graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), co-directed the nine-minute film.
Shattered is a story of a young girl, Sarah, who always had a dream of being a ballet dancer, but gives up her dream due to societal pressure. Despite giving up her dream, Sarah still lives in the illusion of being a famous ballet performer. The film is divided into two parts: the character's childhood and then her adult life. Sarah is portrayed by Hayat Tabsh, also a mass communication alumna, from the class of Fall 2015.
A collaborative work by the two graduates, Shattered was made for film courses taken during their senior year as part of their minor in film program, which is offered by the AUS College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD).
"Filming Shattered was a great and exhausting experience," said Zakaria. "Shattered was the most exciting project we have worked on together and although it took some time to write and film it, it is a project that we are both very proud of. And this would not be what it is without our talented actress Hayat Tabash. She was great and skillfully captured the essence of the character."
"The film studies program has taught us a lot and has provided us with great opportunities to pursue our passion in film," said Sobhy. "We would like to thank our great film professors who helped us through our journey at AUS and believed in us and in our talent. Special thanks to our late professor Jack Swanstrom (CAAD), who introduced us to film and taught us the essence of the art of film; to Assistant Professor in Art and Design, Zinka Bejtic, for believing in us when we sometimes doubted our talent and for encouraging us to never stop making films; and finally to Ahmad Ghaleb Abdalla, for guiding us on this project with his demanding yet extremely helpful comments."
"We are all very proud to see our students' work receive the international recognition. Teaching film in UAE is a very rewarding experience as students are very talented, enthusiastic and eager to learn. We will strive to continue our commitment to the discipline with efforts made to further strengthen film minor and launch additional educational platforms that will include narrative and non-narrative formats and provide students with exposure to industry standard practices in all stages of film production" said Zinka Bejtic, Assistant Professor of Art and Design at the College of Architecture Art and Design.
"We are proud of our MCM students. We always encourage our students to go interdisciplinary and test out their creative potential in related fields like film, multimedia and design. Many thanks to CAAD for mentoring our students in the film area" said Mohammad Ayish, Head of the Department of Mass Communication.
Considered a meeting place for professionals from around the world, the Short Film Corner is more of a showcase than a competition, though entries are selected by a committee. Through it participants can meet prominent filmmakers, exchange ideas in a professional area, promote their films and attend workshops and conferences.
The Short Film Corner started in 2004 and is used as a platform by directors and short film producers to have their films seen by a wide audience. Bringing young talent to the forefront, the film corner gives budding filmmakers the opportunity to take advantage of the festival's education and industry programs.