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Image Nation Abu Dhabi has named Mansour Ahmed, Mildred Garcerant and Amer Al Mahri as the 2019 winners of Arab Film Studio, its flagship training programme for aspiring filmmakers.

Ahmed was awarded Best Narrative Short Film for ‘Asli’, which follows an Emirati marriage detective who investigates a potential bridegroom with surprising results. Garcerant won Best Documentary Short Film for ‘In the Shadows’, which recreates the family situation when one member is detained for twenty-five days in a 6 sqm cell with thirty others. And the award for Best Script was given to ‘Run’ by Al Mahri, who wins Dh100,000 to bring his script to life.

“I applied to Arab Film Studio three times because I truly believed that this programme would be my first step into the storytelling industry. I felt such a connection with the work that they do. I’m a huge believer in Arab Film Studio and I really encourage everyone who has a passion for film to apply next year,” Ahmed said.

Arab Film Studio is developing a significant legacy, said Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation. “Arab Film Studio continues to grow from strength to strength. The quality of works that these creative filmmakers produce every year is outstanding, and many of our more than 150 former participants have gone on to successful careers.”

The awards ceremony featured a special screening of ‘Ice Cream’, a 12-minute film based on last year’s winning script by Salma Serry. Directed by Jaafar Almadhoon, also a former Arab Film Studio participant, the script was brought to life with Serry’s production grant from Image Nation.

Arab Film Studio is an in-depth training programme that provides aspiring filmmakers with the opportunity to hone their craft and learn from industry experts through in-depth workshops and mentoring. Now in its eighth year, it offers programmes in Narrative, Documentary, Scriptwriting, Storytelling and Corporate film as well as a special summer program for high school students.

Judging the entries were film industry experts including regional filmmakers Mohammad Saeed Hairb, Yasir Al Yasiri, Ali Marzouqi, Scandar Copti and Nawaf Al Janahi. The ceremony was held at the Marriott Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi.