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Egyptian among ten finalists of YouTube's and Emirates' Your Film Festival

Two filmmakers from the MENA region among finalists chosen by the worldwide YouTube community, including Ramy El-Gabry from Egypt.
YouTube | 02.08.2012

YouTube and Emirates, in partnership with La Biennale di Venezia (the Venice Film Festival) and Scott Free Productions, announced today the ten films receiving the highest number of votes from the YouTube community, and becoming the Your Film Festival finalists. The finalists includes two filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa Region; Niam Itani (Lebanon) and Ramy EL-Gabry (Egypt). These films were watched, shared and voted on by more than three million YouTube users after Scott Free narrowed down the initial 15,000 submissions to 50 semi-finalists.

The filmmakers behind these films will travel to the prestigious Venice Film Festival at the end of August. All ten films will be screened in a special selection as part of the Venice Film Festival on Sunday, September 2, 2012, and the grand prize winner will be chosen from a distinguished jury that includes directors Sir Ridley Scott and acclaimed actor Michael Fassbender. The winner will receive $500,000 to create original online content with the help of Scott Free Productions and Fassbender, acting as executive producers.

"These ten finalists have achieved something quite remarkable and are all clearly talents to watch," says Ridley Scott. "People may be surprised to know that making a short film is very difficult, but these filmmakers have all succeeded in realizing their visions and I congratulate them on this achievement.”

Your Film Festival is an online search to find the world’s best storytellers. Content creators around the world were asked to submit a 15-minute, story-driven video of any format, style and genre. Submissions came from all over the world and the finalists reflect the global reach of the festival. The ten finalists are:

88:88, Joey Ciccoline & Sean Wilson (USA)
Bat Eyes, Damien Power (Australia)
Cine Rincao, Fernando Grostein Andrade & Fernanda Fernandes (Brazil)
The Drought, Kevin Slack (USA)
El General, Diego Pino Zamora (Bolivia)
The Guilt, David Victori Blaya (Spain)
North Atlantic, Bernardo Nascimento (United Kingdom)
Super.Full., Niam Itani (Lebanon)
Scruples, Adrian Powers (Australia)
This Time, Ramy EL-Gabry (Egypt)

As part of their journey to Venice, Emirates has invited the filmmakers to visit Dubai for a series of events celebrating their achievements, before flying to Italy where the films will be screened and the grand prize winner will be announced on Sunday, September 2, 2012. More press materials are available at https://sites.google.com/site/yourfilmfestival/.

Your Film Festival is one of several efforts by YouTube to push the boundaries of music, art, and film. It follows the incredibly successful partnership that YouTube experienced with Scott Free to help create the critically acclaimed documentary “Life In A Day.” Other projects like the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, YouTube Play, and YouTube Space Lab are examples of the convergence of online video with traditional arts.