At some point in our careers we have all experienced that one day, week or month which could change our life forever. Well, for Fadel Al Muhairis, it's this week.
Over the next few days the young Emirati will go head-to-head with five other emerging filmmakers from around the world in a bid to win the InCircle Pearl Grant — part of the innovative Film Financing Circle (FFC) at the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF).
Predominantly created to expose emerging filmmakers to high-level industry decision makers, the InCircle Pearl Grant was also designed to facilitate financing for talented filmmakers from around the world.
Now representing the UAE in the world of film, Fadel says the reality of what has happened has only just hit him.
The 28-year-old student of multi-media programming, said: "I am very proud to have been selected for this prestigious initiative.
"I love film and one day hope to become a famous director. I have a passion for what I do and that will never go away — with or without the grant. If I won the grant, it would obviously just help speed things up as well as give me an insight into the industry that money just cannot buy."
An independent panel poured over thousands of entries from all over the world and better still, had no idea of the nationality of the entrants — making it a wonderful surprise for festival organisers that an Emirati filmmaker had been selected to take part.
Fadel added: "When I heard about the FFC I was only two years into the research for my next film, but I applied anyway as the entry can be just a plot and idea.
"I was so pleased to have been selected, but I am not one to shout about my success."
So-much-so Fadel has not even told his parents and asked if tabloid! would do the honours by printing today's article.
He said: "I know they will be very proud of me and I am pleased they will be able to read about my success in the newspaper."
Fadel tells us where his leap into the world of film all began. He said: "If I could go as far as to say I was born with a video camera in my hand, then I think I would. From as young as I can remember all I wanted to do was make movies. My dad had a video camera given to him for his birthday one year and, needless to say, he never saw it again.
"I was always the director, and I got all my friends and family to play parts in my films. They were usually about fighting and guns, as is the case with most young kids.
"Now my inspiration for my films comes mainly from the pages of history books. History fascinates me and I find it amazing to think of all the things which have taken place over the years.
"My new film is about the history of Ras Al Khaimah and the people who defended our country for us many years ago.
"Obviously I would love to win but I am just concentrating on taking everything in and learning from the experts around me. I am like a sponge and I want to take it all in."
The InCircle Pearl Grant involves an intensive three-day workshop designed to aide filmmakers in their quest to find funding for their projects. It is a competitive programme to identify, develop and launch the career of one outstanding filmmaker. During the event, six powerhouse InCircle teams will brainstorm to create financing and marketing strategies for the six chosen filmmakers and their projects. Each proposal will then be presented to a selection jury for evaluation, and the winning filmmaker will receive a production grant significant enough to help fund their next film.
A Corsair's Tale: synopsis
The early 1800s witnessed a newcomer to disturb the peaceful relationship existing amid the Arab merchants with India.
The British determined through The East India Company to crave its share of Gulf trade with India at the expense of the native Arab traders.
Now, being the dominant power, the British commanded the Gulf trade until one tribe stood to oppose them. Al Qawassim rebels, so-called pirates, were born to ignite years of war in the Gulf seas.
The myth of piracy was born, and the British orchestrated a campaign to misrepresent Al Qawassim as pirates who threatened all maritime activity in the Northern Indian Ocean and adjacent waters. Any misfortune that happened to any ship in the area was capriciously attributed to the 'Qawassim pirates'.
Nasser Al Qassimi, a young man living a peaceful life in Ras Al Khaimah witnessed the brutal sudden attack the English had on his village on the dawn of the British expedition. The city drew to its ground to leave no trace of human life. Nasser is taken on a terrifying voyage to a world ruled by fear and tyranny turning him into his destiny to become a Corsair.
Roaming the Gulf seas on his ship, Nasser becomes a brutal corsair seeking his revenge by attacking merchant and battleships sailing under the British flag. He makes a desperate break to return home and to ultimately begin his quest to build and lead his tribe in a rebellion against the tyranny of the English ships on Arabian Gulf waters.
Years later, the English Gazette newspaper in Bombay publishes 'A Corsair's Tale' citing a notorious pirate by the name of Nasser Al Qassimi, a growing legend who defies the English Empire of the East to protect the Gulf waters from their oppression, mentioning his triumph on sacking British vessels.
Al Qawassim were striking back again, this time with a more powerful army all aboard hundreds of ship and vessels tracking down the English.
Rules and regulations
The InCircle Pearl Grant is open to directors and/or producers who have completed a short, feature or documentary film that was awarded a prize OR has been screened at an international film festival.
Applicants must be fluent in English and comfortable presenting their project to a large group and the InCircle Pearl Grant Jury.
A submitted project can be a pitch, a completed screenplay or a project currently in pre-production.
Project must be submitted by attached director or producer.
If a finalist is unable to secure the necessary travel documents or confirm participation within one week prior to the competition, their place in the competition will be forfeited by default and offered to the next qualified applicant.