Zayed University set to host eighth edition of ZUMEFF

A scene from “Ayny,” a finalist in the animation division of ZUMEFF 2017. The film is directed by Ahmad Saleh from the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. (Photo courtesy of ZUMEFF)

By Fatma AlFalasi

ABU DHABI–The Zayed University Middle East Film Festival, in its eighth edition, will be held on Sunday and Monday, 30 April-1 May 2017 at the Sheikha Fatima Convention Centre on the Abu Dhabi campus of ZU.

ZUMEFF is an event organized and run by COM 475 students, under the direction of Professor Sascha Ritter. ZUMEFF 2017 will be open to the public for free, and the festival is opening its doors at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday and 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday.

Major sponsors this year include Mubadala, Park Rotana, Fast Rent A Car, twofour54, Adobe and Grapheast, Dubai International Film Festival, Mojo Ink, Zayed University, and the UAE National Film Library and Archives.

“We are very happy with the more than 150 submissions that we received this year and we feel privileged to showcase the work of young and talented Arab directors,” said Mr. Ritter, the COM 475 instructor and the faculty director of ZUMEFF.

ZUMEFF was established in 2010 as a graduation project by AlYazyah Al Falasi, Reema Majed and founding Faculty Director Alia Yunis, with the aim to showcase students’ films and encourage young filmmakers in the region.

Celebrating the work of young Arab directors, ZUMEFF 2017 will showcase 48 student films from 15 countries, including Germany, Jordan, the UAE and Palestine.

Films will start screening from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, 30 April and Monday, 1 May. Then those films that made it to the final round will be screened from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. also on Sunday and Monday.

There are five categories for awards: Best of the best, Narration, Documentary, Animation and the twofour54/ZUMEFF Aspiring Filmmaker.

The 2016 Best of the Best was “Unfinished Tales: Fool’s Paradise” by the talented Hussam Ismail.

“It is great to see the festival grow year by year,” said Professor Ritter. “We are extremely proud to add even more to ZUMEFF this year with four interesting workshops.”

Workshops this year include: Toon Boom, an Introductory Workshop on Harmony and Storyboard at 10 a.m. on Sunday, 30 April; Writing a Touching Story from Real Events with Student Academy Winner, Ahmad Saleh at 3 p.m. on Sunday, 30 April; Arab Film Studio’s Documentary Filmmaking Workshop at 11 a.m. on Monday, 1 May and lastly Adobe’s Introductory Workshop on Adobe Premiere at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, 1 May.

To round off this year’s program, the Awards Ceremony will be held on 1 May at 6:30 p.m. under the Patronage and in the presence of Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi, the President of Zayed University.

For more information, visit the ZUMEFF website at

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8 Responses to Zayed University set to host eighth edition of ZUMEFF

  1. mariamjs83 says:

    thank you so much for the information you gave us about the festival. the festival was so nice i liked the movies that were displayed.

  2. Asma Naser H. says:

    This is, by far, the best short film I have ever seen in a while. The last seen where the brothers where helping each other play in one oud got me.

  3. umkalthoom says:

    went there and it was so much fun , everyone is so creative

  4. Shaima Alhosani says:

    I think that most of the films are great, want to deliver main messages to the audience and promote a brand or company. In point of view, some films have perfect filming shots and there is an accuracy of shots as well as the motors of the camera. I am so proud of this film festival because it plays an important role in supporting young filmmakers in the Middle East. There are many young talents and I believe that this festival can encourage them to become professionals in the future. However, I notice that few some other films had no connection between the message that want to deliver and the scene or the way actors act to convey the audience or viewers.

  5. Bashayer. says:

    Good work Fatma.

  6. Ayesha Alyaarbi says:

    So excited for the festival, and looking forward to watch all the movies. thanks for the great information

  7. Abeer Mohammed says:

    Good work, and good amount of information
    keep going.

  8. Meera Al Hammadi says:

    great info, I want to know if visitors are allowed to go or not? Thank you.

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