twofour54 unearths hidden talent with creative lab grant funding | twofour54

twofour54 unearths hidden talent with creative lab grant funding

10 Dec 2010

11 projects completed in 2010 build foundations for Arabic media industry

twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab, which provides grant funding for Arabs with great ideas that demonstrate exceptional creativity and originality across any media and entertainment platform, today showcased the projects it has completed in 2010 as it aims to build the foundations of a sustainable Arabic media industry.

To date  twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab has completed 11 projects with a several more in late stage discussions for investment and support. In addition to these 11 projects, twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab has helped over 50 people develop their careers in the media industry. These numbers are expected to grow significantly in 2011.

These completed projects include four young UAE Nationals working on different media platforms, including a traditional short film “Ghafet Osha”; the pilot of a series made for digital distribution called “Jirfah” and two music videos shot to commemorate UAE National Day.

“We have been really impressed by the quality of ideas and the skills of the individuals who have come to twofour54 ibtikar for funding and support to turn their ideas into reality,” commented Wayne Borg, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54. “We are looking for passionate applicants with ideas across all platforms. We will nurture and support these talents with a view to establishing future generations for the Arabic media industry.”

Hana Al Zarouni, a 34 year old UAE National whose ambition is to become a famous film director worked with twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab to develop her idea for a short film called “Ghafet Osha” which addresses life in the UAE in the 1950s before the discovery of oil and the establishment of the federation. Despite having no prior film experience, Hana was able to conceptualize and produce what began as a simple idea.

24 year old UAE National Maitha Al Mehairbi worked with twofour54 as an intern before successfully pitching her Arabic web series, “Jirfah”, to twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab. The idea was developed into a pilot ‘web-isode’ about Shamsa, a young Emirati girl living in Abu Dhabi and blogging about her daily adventures, frustrated about her life compared to her brother’s carefree lifestyle.

twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab looks to invest in projects from a range of platforms. During 2010 it invested in the the production of two music videos to commemorate UAE National Day. The first, “Amana Ya Emarati” is a music video about the UAE, written by UAE national, Huda Amin Al Zarooni, a graduate of Ajman University of Science and Technology.

The second is a rap music video entitled “Ana Emarati”by Khalifa Al Rumaithi, a current Media student at Abu Dhabi’s Men’s College. Khalifa met the twofour54 team at a presentation held at his college. He pitched his idea and only two weeks later was appearing on TV across the UAE including MTV Arabia.

twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab was involved in both of these music video projects from development stage right through to delivery of the final product by involving other’s from the creative lab community who became the production and post production crew.

Key to the future of the Arabic media industry is the development of the talent pool and increasing the opportunities that exist for budding media professionals to develop their skills. In order to provide additional opportunities and build a collaborative platform for the industry, twofour54 ibtikar is launching a new creative lab portal, which will be going live at the end of the year.

This new portal aims to provide personal and professional support to its members as well as share training experiences. Of the 50 members who are already signed up, 15 are Emiratis who are taking their first steps into the content creation industry. Many of the community members have had multiple experiences with twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab, from creative writing to music composition, and acting to directing.

“We are delighted with the progress that twofour54 ibtikar: creative lab has made since its launch a year ago,” added Borg. “Not only have we invested in talent across a range of different projects, but as we increase the number of projects we work on, so we increase the opportunities for the community to work on developing their skills.”

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