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Contest wants you to capture 40th National Day on video

Colin Simpson

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DUBAI // A group promoting filmmaking in the UAE has launched a competition to find the best videos inspired by the country's 40th anniversary celebrations.

The contest is one of a number of initiatives by UAE Film, which was set up this year by the Emirati Hassan Kiyany on the professional video-sharing platform Vimeo.

Members were invited to submit their videos to the site, where they could be viewed by others.

The group this week launched its own website,, and now has a presence on the social-networking sites Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Members have also developed an application that will enable videos to be viewed on iPhones and iPads. It has been submitted to Apple and will be available for free from iTunes.

"We now have nearly 60 members and more than 140 videos on the Vimeo platform," said Mr Kiyany, a film director and editor from Dubai. "I hope people will like the app. We're excited about all this."

The 40th anniversary challenge is the first in a series of planned contests.

"People can shoot anything about National Day activities, in their homes, outside, at their work, in the street - anywhere they see activities," he said. "They can shoot with anything: their phones, their video cameras …

"We ask that they are cinematic. We're not trying to be a YouTube; we're trying to be a really professional place for people who think and act professionally. We want to have really nice videos to watch."

Mr Kiyany said he hoped the competitions would unearth new talent.

"Youngsters always have more creative ideas because they want to prove their capabilities, so schools and colleges are very welcome and we should see some new names showing up in these competitions."

The deadline for entries is 11pm on National Day, December 2, and the winners will be announced within a few days.

Prizes of membership of Vimeo Plus - an enhanced paid-for version of the free service - and tickets to see the UAE movie Sea Shadow will be given to those who make the three best videos.

UAE Film is open to people of all nationalities who live in the country, although Mr Kiyany said he was particularly keen to promote Emirati artists.

Last month he won third prize in the short narrative competition at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for his film telePhoni, which he shot on an iPhone.

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