WHAT IS IT?
ON.DXB is a new event in Dubai that puts a spotlight on the contemporary convergence of film, game, video and music industries. The three-day affair recognises that creative media has become a multi-platform business, with plenty of crossover between content creation industries — from comics turning into films to TV shows turning into games. ON.DXB is a hub for those who want to gain insight into content creation and break into the industry, and those who want to learn practical tools to take their craft to the next level.
WHEN IS IT?
ON.DXB will take place from November 21 to November 23. Daily timings are from 11am until 11pm.
WHERE IS IT?
Dubai Studio City – Sound Stages.
Acclaimed American director Spike Lee tops the list of headliners. YouTuber Liza Koshy, gamer MJRM and ‘Top Boy’ actor Kano also headline. Here’s a breakdown of when and where you can attend their sessions.
1. SPIKE LEE: November 21 at 5.15pm at Circle Stage; 7pm at ON_CINEMA (Both with Industry Arena passes only)
Award-winning director, producer, writer and actor Spike Lee has been active in Hollywood since the 1970s. Lee’s films examine race relations, racism and colourism, particularly as these issues pertain to USA, through his work. His directorial features include ‘Do the Right Thing’ (1989), ‘Malcolm X’ (1992) and ‘BlacKkKlansman’ (2018). This year, Lee won his first Academy Award for ‘BlacKkKlansman’ (Best Adapted Screenplay) and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.
On the Circle Stage, Lee discusses The Power of Media shortly after 5pm. Moderated by Omar Butti of the Dubai Film and TV commission. Lee later that evening sits for An Audience with Spike Lee at 7pm at ON_CINEMA. Lee does not appear on the schedule for any other day of ON.DXB.
2. LIZA KOSHY: November 22 at 6pm on the Mainstage; November 23 at 5:15pm on the Circle Stage (Industry Arena pass only)
Actress and social media superstar Koshy began as a user on the short-form video sharing platform, Vine, before moving onto YouTube. She has now amassed more than 2.5 billion views across her two YouTube channels. This year, Koshy was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet. The content creator, known for her bubbly and extroverted personality, has collaborated with everyone from actor Will Smith to former US president Barack Obama.
3. KANO: November 21 at 10pm on the Mainstage; November 22: 5:15pm on the Circle Stage (Industry Arena pass only)
Kano is a British MC, rapper and actor, known for his pioneering contributions to the UK grime scene. Kano climbed up the charts in 2007 with his single ‘This is the Girl’, featuring Craig David. His fifth album ‘Made in the Manor’, shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2016, was a critical success and charted at No 8 in the UK. Most recently, he’s become known for playing the role of Sully in the drama series ‘Top Boy’.
4. MJRM GAMES: November 22 at 1.30pm on the Circle Stage (Industry Arena pass only)
Rayan Al Ahmari, better known by his online moniker Mjrm Games, is a 24-year-old Arabic-language content creator based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Ahmari is a popular regional gaming streamer. His YouTube channel — which has more than 6.7 million subscribers — also features a collection of challenges and short comedic videos.
WORKSHOPS AND PANELS
ON.DXB is packed full of workshops and panels featuring regional experts covering everything from podcasts, filmmaking, IGTV, Emirati cinema, women in media, music streaming, return on investment on social media, piracy, beauty pressures and more. A full schedule of sessions for each day is available to download online.
At the ON_CINEMA area, daily film screenings will take place. The movies that will show are: ‘God Children’ (Q&A with filmmaker Reshel Shah Kapoor), ‘I Am Yazidi’ (Q&A with filmmaker Pegah Ghaemi), ‘Musk’, ‘Dachra’, ‘The Contest’ (Q&A with producer Tom Greenwood Mears), short film ‘Makr’ (Q&A with actor Mohammad Ahmad), ‘Amali’ (Q&A with filmmaker Miguel Hirsch), ‘Nightmare of Gaza’ (exclusive preview plus a Q&A with filmmaker Farah Nabulsi), ‘Twisted Blues’ (Q&A with filmmaker Jac Mulder), ‘You Will Die at 20’ and ‘Cairo Station’. Timings are available online.
A wide selection of passes are available online, from Dh150 for single day passes to Dh1,500 for VIP day passes. Three-day Industry Arena passes are Dh950 while Student Industry Arena passes are Dh500.