DIFF: The Inside Story

The film festival was abuzz with a rich mix of people from all kinds of backgrounds and careers: Photographers ran around taking pictures while journalists tried their best to capture interviews with prominent people, including big Hollywood stars such as Colin Farrell and Colin Firth. Radio stations had set up shop at the festival and news reporters were seen reporting live from the scene.

I was selected as a participant for the Young Journalist Award at DIFF this year. University students competing for the award were asked to write for the ‘DIFF Daily’, a newspaper for the festival. I had to pen down a feature story, news story and a review.

It was great to experience the vibrancy of the Film Festival first-hand and on such a personal level. If only for a few days, I felt like an actual Journalist; rushing to meetings, chasing interviews with stars and sagely critiquing movies. I also attended panels on different topics, such as censorship, and political documentaries and interacted with producers, directors and actors.

Aside from giving students like myself a chance to put on our journo hats, there was still plenty to like about the festival itself. It provided an excellent opportunity for upcoming Arab filmmakers to showcase their work. Local producers and directors making their way in the industry were in the spotlight, and took hold of the opportunity to present their films to the people. Emirati filmmakers such as AbdAllah Al Kaabi and Butheina Kaazim stood out amongst the newcomers.

However, the film festival was not simply about entertainment. It also sought to broaden people’s horizons and spread awareness about key issues. One of the aspects of the film festival that I liked the most was that the majority of the films had a theme, key message or issue that was being highlighted. The documentary ‘Presumed Guilty’ focused on the injustices in the Mexican legal system while ‘Prison and Paradise’ provided an insight into the lives of the Bali Bombers.

Encountering the film festival from the inside was an eye-opening experience. It added vastly to my knowledge and introduced me to a range of new concepts and issues. Personally, I loved having the opportunity to live a day in the life of a journalist. In fact, it’s what inspired me to start writing this blog. Next year, I’ll be too old for the young journalist award, but who knows, if I keep writing, I might be closer to being a real-life ‘young journalist’.

Hey, everyone’s got to start somewhere!

Hamna Ahmed

Some of Murdoch’s students enjoying the concert

Some of Murdoch’s students enjoying the concert

FACT:- There were 10 people in this picture but they were so hyped up on Red Bull the camera couldn’t snap a shot of them

FACT:- There were 10 people in this picture but they were so hyped up on Red Bull the camera couldn’t snap a shot of them

Stage being set up for “The Evolution of Rock”

Stage being set up for “The Evolution of Rock”

A member of the Murdoch Production team

A member of the Murdoch Production team

Shameless advertising by the football team? Nah…they just really like Shoe Mart!

Shameless advertising by the football team? Nah…they just really like Shoe Mart!

Murdoch’s basketball team. Contrary to how they look in the picture, they are a very happy bunch of people…

Murdoch’s basketball team. Contrary to how they look in the picture, they are a very happy bunch of people…

Both of Murdoch’s football teams together. Looks as though (when you look at the picture from left to right) the team members get angrier. 

Both of Murdoch’s football teams together. Looks as though (when you look at the picture from left to right) the team members get angrier. 

One of the Murdoch-ian football teams entered into the competition. Just out of interest…is the player in the front-left of the image just wearing socks??

One of the Murdoch-ian football teams entered into the competition. Just out of interest…is the player in the front-left of the image just wearing socks??

One of the Murdoch-ian Basketball team members.

One of the Murdoch-ian Basketball team members.

Week of Welcome Pictures

So, despite the Week of Welcome finishing near on three weeks ago, we will (finally) be posting up some pictures of the events that took place. Big thanks to the Production Team who took all the photos and organised for each event to be covered. If anybody has any of their own pictures or wants to write an article for this blog on any of the events that took place during the Week of Welcome, then just contact me.

-Paul Williams

To be an interviewee

On October 27th, 2010, I was going to be interviewed for the first time.

Ever.

Live on radio.

I had been asked to go on to a talk show that discussed environmental issues, and seeing as I’m a Environmental Science major you wouldn’t have thought that I’d have trouble talking about this subject, right?

Wrong.

I was so nervous I thought people could hear the butterflies in my stomach, and even though I had been given time to prepare, I was still not too sure how it would play out in the end. All kinds of worst case scenarios were running through my head. What if I blanked out? What if one of the callers heckles me? What was I going to do if I didn’t know the answer to a question? But thankfully, I was not going to be alone. Professor John Grainger was also taking part and we were accompanied by Maisa Mannila, and both showered me with some well needed support.

When we first arrived at Dubai Studio City, approximately half an hour before we were due on air, we were asked to wait in the lobby area of the building. I expected the radio station’s office to be playing the radio through its loudspeaker, but I didn’t expect the radio to have such terrible reception. I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony, and surprisingly this calmed me down.

For someone who has never been on the inside of a radio booth before, I was quite intrigued by everything. The set up of the room was that of two tables; the one for the guests had microphones, headphones and comfortable seats while the RJ’s had several computer screens, and other assorted gadgets, on it.

A few minutes later, the moment of truth had arrived. The music cue had just been played, the headphones were turned on, and everybody became fully focused. While the interview began with the Prof Grainger, giving me a good 20 mins of not having to say a word, I knew that right after the cheesy commercials it would be my turn to talk.  Hoping to god that I wouldn’t choke, I began to answer my first question and upon receiving assuring thumbs up from the Prof and an approving smile for Maisa, I knew I was on the right track. Just like that, the whole hour past by, with me wanting it to go on for just that bit longer. Feeling foolish that I was so intimated by being interviewed, I’m now very grateful for being able to have had the experience, and it left no doubt in my mind that the second time around would be even better!

- Jan Jamil

Week Of Welcome – PRISM`10.

The much awaited Week of Welcome (WOW) will begin on the 10th October, 2010. For those who are new to DIAC, the Week of Welcome is an annual event held by The Student Hub to kick start the University year.

 

The details are listed below:


Event Name: Week of Welcome (PRISM -2010)
Date: 10th Oct, 2010 to 18th Oct, 2010
Venue: Outdoor, Dubai International Academic City

The activity schedule for the week are as follows:

Day 1 (10TH Oct): Sports Day; Venue: DIAC Car park; Time: 9am.
Day 2 (11th Oct): Concert; Venue: DIAC Car park; Time: 4pm.
Day 3 (12th Oct): Movie Mania; Venue: Recreation Centre; Time: 9am.
Day 4 (13th Oct): Desert Safari; Venue: DIAC Car park; Time: 9am.
Day 5 (14th Oct): Gaming Technology; Venue: Recreation Centre; Time: 9am.
Day 6 (15th Oct): Souq Carnival; Venue: DIAC Campus; Time: 9am.
Day 7 (16th Oct): Fresher’s Night; Venue: Recreation Centre; Time: 6pm.


Throughout the week there will be a ladies tent, beat boxing and a dedicated DJ playing on a daily basis from 12:00 – 16:00 for all 7 days of the event.

WOW provides an opportunity for new and old students from the DIAC campus to interact and share their views and experiences while getting introduced to student life at DIAC. The Student Hub of DIAC, the organizer of the WOW program, has become extremely popular. It has achieved its success through projects like JAWAZ. The Student Hub provides excellent services to the student community.


So, be sure to find the time take part in at least one of the events during the Week of Welcome.

For more information contact Mr. Fadi Awad at 04-3693667 or via email – fadi.awad@tecom.ae or directly visit the Student Hub Office, Block 6.

 

Cheers !!!!

                                                                          By: Nikhita Sudhir.