Al Marmoom Film Festival

Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert festival, opening on Friday at Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, stands out for its unique venue, celebration of Emirati heritage, and lineup of independent cinema. Now in its third year and organized by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the 10-day festival runs until January 21.

The event, inaugurated with a performance by the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra, received a special visit from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. The festival is a platform celebrating Emirati culture and the desert, blending modernity and tradition, with crafts, traditional food, children's areas, workshops, and talks on various aspects of filmmaking. Over 70 regional and international titles are screened, many competing in animation, documentary, and live-action categories.

Emirati director Nahla Al Fahad, a member of the documentary judging panel, highlights the festival's role in establishing Dubai as a cultural production hub.

The festival is a crucial platform for emerging creatives, offering workshops and events to sharpen skills, as highlighted by Saeed Al Janahi of Dubai Film and TV Commission. Unique for its open-air venue in the desert, the festival is designed for families and aspiring creatives.