Black Box Cinema at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2014

The Black Box Cinema is a new project develped by Emirati actor and film director Nawaf Al Janahi. The miniature cinema theatre will 15 fifteen Emirati short films (features, documentary and animation) and will include daily sessions of workshops and talks about the local cinematic movement, filmmaking artistry and shed light on cinema’s growing significance as a culturally relevant artistic field.  

The first (of which I hope will be many) will take place at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair from 30th April to 5th May 2014. 

Nawaf Al Janahi's last feautre film Sea of Shadow was screened across multiple international festivals over the past couple of years and he recently launched a campaign titled Emirati Cinema to raise the public awareness of Emirati cinema, in all its diversity, enhance the interaction with films made in the UAE all year long and build more filmmaking careers.

With the Black Box Cinema, he aims to develop greater understanding between the world of books and cinema and to offer "a glimpse of what is being achieved on the ground and establishes dialogue among filmmakers. ”


Here's the list of workshops and talks which will take place daily from 30th April - 5th May at 7pm:

Wednesday, 30th April - Emirati Cinema
Nawaf Al Janahi (actor and film director) will talk about the history of the Emirati local filmmaking scene and its current components. It's a session where you can find out how it all started, and who makes up the film scene in the UAE today. 

Thursday, 1st May - Intro to Film Criticism
This talk led by Ahmed Shawky (writer) is designed for those who want to start writing about films. It will talk about how to "read" films. 

Friday, 2nd May - The Film Director and Writing  
Renowned Egyptian film director Yousry Nasrallah will explore the  world of writing from his perspective as a filmmaker, how he writes his film, and how he deals with other screenwriters.   

Saturday, 3rd May 2014 -  Screenwriting, the image first  
Mohammed Hassan Ahmed (author and award winning screenwriter) will talk about the language of images in cinema, and the story in every film needs to be told visually first. In this workshop you will learn how to find these images in your daily life. 

Sunday, 4th May 2014  -  Screenwriting, the narrative structure
Fareed Ramadan (writer, author and screenwriter) will cover the structure of a screenplay and teach you how to how to build your story and characters.  

Monday, 5th May - Aflamnah, he alternative funding for your project
Aflamnah will go over the basics of crowdfunding. This workshop is open for filmmakers, writers and all innovators. 


Here's the list of films, also taking place between 30th April - 5th May at various times. Detailed schedule can be found here

Daddy ABC, directed by Hamad Al Awar (2012)
A father discovers the challenges of caring for a baby, when his wife decides she needs a break and leaves him alone with their child. (Animation, 7 mins)

Feeding Five Hundred, directed by: Rafed Al Harthi and Ray Haddad (2012) 
How many days can a person go on feeding stray cats? For Sediq, it has been 15 years. The passion and determination of his labor touches the lives of 500 forlorn felines every day. We gain insight into his daily life as he faces hostility, and sympathy. (Documentary, 22 mins) 

Half Emirati, directed by Amal Al Agroobi (2012) 
Five Emirati nationals of mixed parentage share their experiences and stories about what it is really like to be among those who are born to Emirati parents. We explore what society’s expectations are of them and whether they are really ever accepted into the culture to which they are expected to belong. (Documentary, 10 mins) 

The Intruder, directed by Majid Al Ansari (2011)
A couple and their unborn child are threatened by a chance encounter in a remote desert at night. Where does the intruder come from? And more disturbingly, what does it want? (Fiction, 17 mins) 

The Journey, directed by Hana Makki (2012) 
For work, and her Indian taxi driver. On their journey the hopes, dreams and realities of these invisible expatriates are revealed. (Fiction, 15 mins)  

Mirrors of Silence directed by Nawaf Al Janahi (2006) 
In a modern city, a young man is confronted by a distressing loneliness; will he succeed in overcoming it? (Fiction, 16 mins) 

Ostora, directed by Hani Kichi (2011) 
Erato, a mythical mermaid, falls victim to her own curiosity and breaks the ultimate law of the sea. A mythical tale of the West meets a true legend from the East, unravelling a story of a people united on a land that today boasts a dynamic history built through the commitment of its visionary leader. (Animation, 7 mins)  

The Pillars, directed by Moustafa Zakaria (2011) 
Chaptered according to the Five Pillars of Islam and set in an unnamed city in the United Arab Emirates, a man tries to restore his self-worth after realising that he is useless. Within the same context, a woman is determined to move forward after realising that she has a purpose. The man and woman were once married. (Fiction, 16 mins)  

Pink Clouds, directed by Samah El Kadi (2013)
A study of the tender and bitter emotions of an old woman in her loneliness, accompanied only by her professional caretaker, as they both learn more about true human connection in a surreal environment. (Fiction, 9 mins)  

Sabeel, directed by Khalid Al Mahmood  (2010)
Two small boys live with their elderly grandmother in the mountains of the UAE. Spending their days tending their vegetables and then selling produce on the road, they have to earn enough money to buy medicine for their sick grandmother. This sweet, poignant film explores their lives and the world in which they live. (Fiction, 20 mins)  

Sarab, directed by Maryam Foruhi  (2012)
When a woman loses all traces of the memory of her love, she meets a stranger who seems to know it all. She begins an internal journey into her past memories as she struggles to find the thin line between dreams and reality. (Fiction, 12 minutes) 

Smaller Than The Sky, directed by Abdulla Hassan Ahmed (2012) 
A story develops between a girl and a bird, and we come closer to a crammed mother in a car after an accident in the mountains. (Fiction, 17 mins  

Snow, directed by Saeed Al Dhaheri (2005)
Battle and snow. (Fiction, 7 mins) 

Tooth of Hope, directed by Nizar Sfair (2012)
Walid recently lost his job. With his continued failure to secure employment and his increasing concern for his family’s well-being, he is quickly nearing despair. This is not aided by the fact that his wife is pregnant again. What can he do? (Fiction, 15 mins) 

Under the Sun, directed by Ali F. Mostafa (2005) 
The film talks about a young 13 year old Muslim boy through his first day of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. We gain an insight into his understandings, misjudgements and difficulties and take a glance at how he copes with his family upbringing and an Islamic orientated environment in the world today. (Fiction, 23 mins)

You can download the detailed schedule here.  


Event details:
Dates: Wednesday, 30th April - Monday, 5th May 2014
Venue: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), location map


Black Box Cinema