That's Maitha Ebrahim Al Beloushi, a young UAE national student whose work was recognised at this year's Emirates Film Competition.

M aitha Ebrahim Al Belo-ushi was in New York and she was scared. She and her media studies classmates from Dubai Women's College were waiting for their films to be screened at the Tisch School of Arts at New York University (NYU) as part of a study tour to the film school.

How would their efforts compare with that of their American counterparts?

"I was scared, but afterwards I felt really proud of myself and my friends. Even they [the NYU students] were surprised."

"We focus more on the concept, the idea," says Maitha. "They focus more on camera work - which is excellent - but often there might not be any idea. They use professional equipment - 16mm and 35mm cameras; we use video cameras."

Her conclusion: "If we have professional equipment, we can be the best," says Maitha, who is in her final year higher diploma programme at DWC.

She has other reasons to be proud of herself. She along with five other students from DWC won the prize for Student's Documentary Film for Adolescent Colours at this year's Emirates Film Competition.

She also won the prize for Student's Fiction Film for The Scar at the competition and was named Young Filmmaker of the Year by Digital Studio magazine.

"I'm very happy," she says. "I'm 21, and you can imagine how it must feel to win at this age, when there are so many other filmmakers. I am proud of myself."

Besides Adolescent Colours and The Scar, Maitha also submitted another documentary - A Roof Over Our Heads. It focuses on housing in the UAE.

"It was difficult to film," she says. "I didn't side with the people or with the government. I just listened to both sides and let the audience judge."

So which of her films is a personal favourite?
"I like all of them. Each of them has a story; has my feelings; I really liked Roof Over Our Heads because I noticed that the people really need help."

The future
Adolescent Colours speaks of "how young Arab women of the UAE view their future in the light of their present lives". So how does Maitha view her future?

"I really want to represent myself and my country," she says. "When I went to New York, I wanted everybody to know that women in the UAE are respected. We can help build the country."

Students on filmmaking
"The filmmaking culture is more specialised in the US. They have specialised schools that focus on the various aspects of film production - acting, directing, camera. They also have a film industry.

"We don't. Here, we have general studies as part of our course. You need at least three years of training in a specialised school to become a professional filmmaker."

Lamees Al Hajri, third year media production student at Dubai Women's College, who went on a 15-day study programme to the Tisch School of Arts at New York University