Abu Dhabi: The first film archive and library in the Gulf region was inaugurated by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, at the conclusion of the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival. The two-day festival was held from April 29-30.

The project marks the first ever documenting the evolution of the UAE film industry. The archive will provide a permanent home for Emirati-funded films for generations to come and will also benefit researchers.

Shaikh Nahyan toured the UAE National Film Library and Archive (UNFLA), which boasts a film database that includes entries to the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Gulf Film Festival, Zayed University Middle East Film Festival and Emirates Film Competition which is devoted to short films from the UAE and GCC countries. The film database is a highlight of the Zayed University library catalogue.

In addition to at least one access copy of all books and films, the film archive preserves master original print films, master digital film versions, scripts, dialogue lists for translation/subtitling, press kits, media materials (newspaper clippings, interviews, magazine articles), trailers, production stills, written or recorded interviews (oral histories) from filmmakers, actors, and others, especially from the earliest UAE productions, besides posters, flyers, brochures and schedules.

The material will become a part of the circulating or other in-house library collections at Zayed University. At least one copy will be located in the Abu Dhabi Audio-visual Collection; others may be added to the Emirates Collection. Copies may also be placed in the Dubai Library, according to the university.

The Zayed University Middle East Film Festival began in 2010 as a student graduation project. It continues to be organised by a Zayed University class, which oversees all marketing, film evaluation, event organisation, and other work.