ZUMEFF round-up, awards and reviews of two films by Zayed University students

Ahmad Saleh won “Best of the Best” for “Ayny: My Second Eye” at the Zayed University Film Festival.

Reem Rashed Al Mazrouei and her team from Com 311 offer a round-up on the final day of the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival, including a report on the awards, interviews with workshop leaders, filmmakers, and reactions from students. Other members of the video team were Athari Mahmood (presenter); Salma Mohammed (cameraperson); and Ayesha Saif (editor).

Review of films by two Zayed University students

by Nashwa Adel Salem Omar Al Shamlan:

It was great to see such a large number of creative minds at ZUMEFF. I watched eight films in total, but for this assignment focused on only two:

    1. “The Choice,” a narrative by Eman Talal Al Sayed, a recent Zayed University graduate, and
    2. a documentary, called “For Them,” by Khawla Abdulkareem, also of Zayed University.

“The Choice” focused on a young Western woman with mixed roots, an American mother and an Emirati father, who after the death of her father, was given a choice to marry one of her Emirati cousins in order to receive a substantial inheritance. However, not only is her cousin apparently “in love” with someone else, but the young woman also faces other problems like being forced to change her attire, quit her passion for ballet dancing, and modify herself to fit Emirati norms.

At the end of the film, and right before her wedding, the young woman has a talk with her younger brother and they both flee with ice creams in their hands and a smile on their faces. Her final choice is not absolutely clear.

The film was very professionally produced, featuring actors from different nationalities, and a wide range of scenes starting in a Bedouin tent. It took 10 months to complete. What was really hard to miss was the emphasis on the word “choice” which was repeated quite a number of times. I absolutely loved it.

As for the documentary, “For Them” revolved around voluntary work and specifically UAE sponsored refugee camps, which offered everything from clothing, food, and medicine and even had their own warehouses to produce utilities like furniture.

I could greatly relate to this topic because many of our Arab and Muslim neighboring countries are going through such crises, and although it may seem like we are doing our part, we most certainly are not. The visuals were heart-warming, and send a chill down your spine. It sort of gave the audience a sense of motivation that it is our turn now, our turn to lend a hand. Also, it mainly focused on Emirati figures on the field and this made the film even more relatable. Each and every one of them is someone I look up to and hope to become in the future.


About the Author

I am an instructor in the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University.


24 Responses to ZUMEFF round-up, awards and reviews of two films by Zayed University students

  1. Salma Mohammed says:

    one of the best short films that i have ever watch . .

  2. mariamjs83 says:

    i have heard that the movies this year were really good and creative. i was so sad i could not make it this year i hope i get to go next year.

  3. mariamjs83 says:

    i liked the movies they presented this year. each movie had an interesting story and they were all so good.

  4. Maryam AlSaffar says:

    The movies were really great and creative this year, way better than last year’s festival.

  5. Eman says:

    I really liked how the event was organized, and the movies of this year were better than the last year.

  6. afraeid says:

    I attended the zumeef, it was really great and you can see a real hard work has been done. good job.

  7. thats a great short movie and a great story.

  8. reem mohamed says:

    great event that includes great short movies. in my opinion, i think one in million movie was the best because it has a emotionally effective.

  9. Asma Naser H. says:

    The coverage of the festival is great. It talks about the very details of what happened on that event. Thank you for sharing!

  10. mona says:

    The director of the film Eni has done a good job and deserves to be honored. Thank you for supporting Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi and Dr. Riyad Al Muhaideb, Director of the University who attended the ceremony.

  11. mona says:

    The director of the film Eni has done a good job and deserves to be honored. Thank you for supporting Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi and Dr. Riyad Al Muhaideb, Director of the University who attended the ceremony.

  12. Asma Naser H. says:

    I’m so happy that I helped organizing the Ceremony. The directer of the film Ayni is so deserving. I’m also happy that Sheihka Lubna and Dr. Reyad attended the ceremony.

  13. I was honored to be part of the organizers this year! Great movies and astonishing talents from all around the Middle East, what I like the most about ZUMEFF is how it represents unity and diversity.

  14. umkalthoom says:

    it was a lot of fun , I liked all the movies, they are creative in their own ways , I hope I participate in it next year

  15. wonderful job, i feel proud of this amazing hard work of student and, thank you for this event

  16. Asma says:

    ZUMFF was a great event, many good films was shown. Thank you for sharing his information with us, well done.

  17. Alreem Mohamed says:

    I had the privilege to be a part of organizing ZUMEFF this year.
    The winning movie “Ayny” was amazing and heart touching, so glad I got to watch it.

  18. I really like the movies! Good job.

  19. Ayesha Abdulla Omar says:

    Great coverage of ZUMEFF! I wish I had time to watch more films, but I’ll hopefully have an opportunity to watch more films and be more involved next year.

  20. Suhaila Al Dosari says:

    Thank you for sharing a wonderful event ZUMFF, I feel so proud to be able to go to the event and see the hard work of student.

  21. Meera Al Hammadi says:

    I kinda feel sad cause I didn’t get the time to stay longer and see more movies. I hope they change the time for it next year like to put it after the spring break were we as students don’t have tight deadlines.

  22. i started to miss it 🙁

    the movies of this year is much better that last year

    Any is my favorite , Ahmed Saleh worked really hard with his friends to make this film one of the best films.

  23. sara282 says:

    amazing day and the movies are really great. good job

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