Emirati Documentary ‘The Brain That Sings’ wins ‘Best Film’ in the Emirates NBD People’s Choice Award category at DIFF

13 December 2013
Emirati Documentary ‘The Brain That Sings’ wins ‘Best Film’ in the Emirates NBD People’s Choice Award category at DIFF

Producer and Director Amal Al-Agroobi, uses film to address stigmas about disability in the UAE

The independent documentary ‘The Brain That Sings’, produced and directed by Emirati Filmmaker Amal Al-Agroobi, yesterday won ‘Best Film’ in the Emirates NBD People’s Choice Award category at Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai between 6th and 14th December. ‘The Brain That Sings’ is an ALAGROOBI Films production in association with twofour54 and aims to raise awareness of autism in the UAE, and to combat stigmas associated with special needs.

The Festival screenings represented a global debut for ‘The Brain That Sings’, the feature length documentary produced in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation; Aflamnah, the digital crowd-funding platform, Mr. Badr Jafar, an Emirati social entrepreneur who has supported a series of local music and film productions and Michelle Nickleson, head of the Women in Film and Television, UAE chapter.

‘The Brain That Sings’ follows the journey of two autistic boys in the UAE and their progression through three months of music therapy. It explores the cultural stigma associated with having a special needs child in the Arab world.

Speaking about the award, Amal Al-Agroobi expressed her excitement and said:

“I was stunned when my name was called out; I really didn’t expect it at all. I’m honoured that a film that was made for the people was chosen by the people. This shows that there is a response in our population towards social issues and as this film was competing against the other 190 films in the festival for this particular prize, the results have just blown me away.”

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer, twofour54 commented:

“All of us at twofour54 are so proud of the talented young Emiratis and the twofour54 creative lab community members who have worked on the films participating at Dubai International Film Festival 2013. We’d especially like to extend our congratulations to Amal Al-Agroobi on the People’s Choice Award for ‘The Brain That Sings’. The award is testament to the successful development of the UAE’s film industry which is being fuelled by the relevant content which our youth are creating to cater to local and international audiences. This rich pool of local talent we have available in the UAE is perfect proof of a sustained and home-grown media industry.”

Filmmaker Amal Al-Agroobi spent years living in different countries around the world before returning to her home nation of the United Arab Emirates where she began her career in film. In 2013, she set up the company ALAGROOBI Films and won the award for ‘Best Up and Coming Filmmaker of 2013’ at the Digital Studio Awards in Dubai. To learn more, visit: http://amalalagroobi.com

creative lab is an initiative to support the talent needed for sustainable growth of the creative and media industries in the region. To learn more: twofour54.com/creativelab/

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