By Jihan Anwer
On December 8th, the Al-Aqeeq Channel announced the winners of the recently-held Short Film Festival, the first of its kind to take place in Yemen. Participants were required to submit 5-minute-long movies dealing with specific Yemeni issues for inclusion in the festival, the first of its kind to be held in Yemen.
The 5 directors who made their way to the festival’s finale were Osamah Khaled Al-Faqeh, Mohammed Abdul-Wahhab Nasr, Hashim Muhammad, Faris An’am and Amru Al-Jaadal.
In his speech, Faris Al-Sanabani, the Short Film Festival’s official sponsor, declared that the date 8/12/2012 would be recorded in Yemeni history as the day on which Yemen’s first short film festival was held in Yemen.
Al-Sanabani expressed regret that because of financial limitations and security concerns, he was not being able to invite all 700 of those who contributed to the making of a total of 81 short films. He did, however, express satisfaction that the festival had taken place in spite of adversity.
“Today I won’t talk about my dream; I want to speak about your dreams. You spoke about a better Yemen, of a Yemen free from corruption, in which the right person was in the right place. You spoke of a better education. With these cameras, with your efforts and willpower, you will be able to fight corruption, raise spirits and create a country in which every Yemeni lives with dignity.”
Five winners were awarded with souvenir cups, cameras and monetary prizes at the ceremony.
”Today, we will crown you as the kings of the fourth authority,” said Al-Sanabani.
British Ambassador Nicholas Hopton, Spanish Ambassador Javier Hergueta, Spanish Charge D’Affaires Juan Paramio and EU Delegation Ambassador Bettina Muscheidt awarded the winners and commented on the shoft films’ themes.
“We are peace”, which was directed by Osamah Faqih and narrated by Khadija Badr, earned 5th place honors. Filmed with a borrowed camera and completed in four days, the film dealt with the idea of peace. In the film people were asked the question “What is peace fo you?”
In fourth place was “The Choice”, an entry from the competition’s youngest director, Amru Jaadal. “The Choice” showed how peace and stability affected the lives of Yemenis and their futures.
“The Red Line”, the result of Hashim Muhammad’s directing efforts and Shadi Hussein’s acting, secured 3rd place honors. The short film distinguished itself with its professional quality and the manner with which it tackled the issue of restricted ambitions.
In 2nd place was “The Decision”, which was directed by Mohammad Nasr. In a creative way, the movie approached tackled a question which is very relevant to Yemeni youths: Follow one’s true passion in deciding on a future career or opt for a ‘safe’, conventional job?
Fares An’am and his team were awarded first place for the short film “Poverty and Terrorism.” Mrs. Bettina Muscheidt explained that the movie conveyed a strong universal message, which is the ultimate power of the individual to take responsibility for his actions and demonstrate his power to choose and make decisions in spite of societal pressures.
Spanish Ambassador to Yemen Javier Hergueta presented a challenge to Al-Sanabani, which was readily accepted: to host a Feature-Length Film Festival for 2013.