(MENAFN Press) Canon Middle East, a world leader in imaging solutions, supported the second edition of the 'GEMS Student Voice' short film competition as part of its long-standing partnership with GEMS Education in the UAE.
To take part in the competition, GEMS students enrolled in media studies had the opportunity to make a short film, between 5 and 10 minutes long, using the latest Canon digital products. The competition, which utilized video as a platform, was aimed at fostering understanding between teenagers and adults about topics such as peer and academic pressure, social media and identity through powerful visual representations.
Following the popularity of the contest in its first year, five GEMS schools in Dubai have entered this year. Over 300 students from Al Khaleej National School, Jumeirah College, GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis, GEMS Winchester School Dubai, and GEMS Modern Academy took part in the competition.
The partnership with GEMS reflects Canon's passion to unlock new opportunities for aspiring filmmakers and aligns with the company's commitment to nurturing the local film industry.
At a spectacular Oscars-style grand finale, GEMS Education and Canon Middle East announced the winners in five categories: Best Overall Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Technical, Best Screenplay and Best Direction.
The healthy interschool competition allowed students to see how their final productions compared with those from other GEMS Schools. Main sponsor, Canon Middle East helped judge the final works and supplied each production team with a Canon handi-cam for filming and prizes for each student in each production team. Best Overall Picture won grand prizes of Canon DSLR cameras, and runners-up won Canon PowerShot cameras.
The winning entry called 'Voice,' came from year 12 students from Jumeirah College. Student Directors, Josh Morrow and Gavin Naylor reflected on their accomplishment saying, "This was a fantastic experience not just because we were so successful, but because we were recognised by industry professionals, Canon. It was great to be part of a community of like-minded people around our age and stage in life. We wish the best of luck to all the participants in their future film careers."
Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director at Canon Middle East, said, "We believe that it is essential for businesses across the region to work together to create an environment that nurtures the talent of our future generations. The 'Student Voice Short Film Competition' is an ideal fit to Canon's Kyosei philosophy of living and working together for the common good, by inspiring people to create and innovate."
"We are committed to this project because it is a creative and attractive opportunity to nurture understanding between teens and other adults so that students are better supported and more successful in school and their life achievements in general," said Margaret Atack, Group Senior Director - Education, at GEMS Education. "Experts recommend parents stay informed of what their teenage students are experiencing in order to maintain close relationships in these potentially turbulent years. Student Voice is a strategy for bringing them together."
"We are honoured to have industry experts support the student productions and elevate the experience with their feedback and influence," said Nadia Petrossi, Senior Manager -Parental Engagement for GEMS Education. "The project is successful because parents get to know what is important to their teenagers, but they are also impressed with the quality of the student films and the support from Canon."
GEMS students were recently invited to engage with Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga at a panel discussion on 'Film Making and The Digital Revolution', to explore the challenges of filmmaking and photography in the region and how to leverage the available opportunities.
Canon is empowering filmmakers in the Arab world with new generation digital filmmaking technology that enables faster, smarter and high quality film production. The power of digital technology has the potential to uncover creative talent and revolutionize filmmaking in the Middle East landscape. Canon's sponsorship of film and photography workshops across the region, such as the Egypt Photo Summit, creates unique platforms for both professionals and amateurs to meet and discuss overcoming the challenges of the industry.
The cinema industry in the UAE is growing rapidly with both local and international films utilizing the location options and talent pool available. Recently, The Fast and the Furious and Star Wars were shot in the country inspiring young adults to explore filmmaking. The film festivals in the region also aim to develop the film culture and create greater opportunities for filmmakers from the GCC.