Abu Dhabi

  • Abu Dhabi Grad’s Film Screens at 21 Festivals


    spring passed by

    Eva Daoud completed the filmmaking course at the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi and has already made quite a mark on the film festival circuit. In a marvelous joint collaboration with the talented Adnan Aschamat, a well known Syrian actor, A Spring Has Passed By has met tremendous international success and continues to collect accolades in some of the world’s leading film festivals.

    The Academy is proud of students like Eva that give inspiration not only to their audience, but to their colleagues and alumni.

    The film has been selected and screened at the following festivals:

    1. Urban Mediamakers Film Festival – Atlanta, CA (2013)
    – Official Selection – Best International Short Film
    2. Best Shorts Competition – La Jolla, CA (2013)
    – Award of Merit for Best Short Film
    3. Wild Rose Independent Film Festival – Des Moines, Iowa (2013)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    4. Peace on Earth Film Festival – Chicago, Illinois (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    5. Palm Beach International Short Film Festival – Palm Beach, Florida (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    6. Liverpool Lift-Off International Film Festival – Liverpool, UK (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    7. Sarasota Film Festival – Sarasota, Florida (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    8. 2014 Athens International Film + Video Festival – Athens, Ohio (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    9. The World Film Festival – Montreal , Canada (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    10. Arab Short Film Festival – Beirut, Lebanon (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    11. Female Eye Film Festival – Toronto, Canada (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    12. Palm Springs International Shortfilmfest – Palm Springs, California (2014)
    – Marketplace Selection – Short Film
    13. Malmo Arab Film Festival – Malmo, Sweden (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    14. San Giò Verona Video Festival – Verona, Italy (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    15. Bahamas International Film Festival – Bahamas (2014)
    – Short List Selection – Short Film
    16. Phnom Penh International Film Festival – Cambodia (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    17. Marbella International Film Festival – Spain (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    18. Massachusetts Independent Film Festival – Somerville, Massachusetts (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    – Best Actor Nominee – Adnan Aschamat
    19. Festival of the Mediterranean short film – Tangier, Morocco (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    20. Lady Filmmakers Film Festival – Beverly Hills, USA (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film
    21. Baghdad International Film Festival – Baghdad, Iraq (2014)
    – Official Selection – Short Film


    October 13, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6200

  • NYFA Abu Dhabi Grads Screen Films at Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014


    Congratulations to our two Abu Dhabi graduates, Marwan Al Hammadi and Shereen AbouOuf, who had their short films in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014.

    Marwan Al Hammadi, a UAE national completed our 8-week Filmmaking intensive program and as each student in that program, he wrote, shot, directed and edited 5 short films and crewed on more than 15 others. Marwan has showed his talent and creativity in all of his films and he was awarded on his film CAT in 2012 under the New York Film Academy Aspiring Filmmaker Award. After completing our program, Marwan has joined the official newspaper in UAE “The National” as a Multimedia Producer.

    Marwan Al Hammadi

    Marwan Al Hammadi receiving an award from NYFA Provost, Michael Young

    Shereen graduated from the One-Year Filmmaking in Abu Dhabi and decided to continue in our Bachelor’s degree program by moving to the Academy’s campus in Los Angeles. As every student in the first year in Abu Dhabi, Shereen wrote, shot, directed and edited 8 short films and crewed on more than 28. Her final thesis film Ice Flower has been selected in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014. The story is about Zahra (means Flower in Arabic), the first Emirati female who wanted to follow her dream to be an ice skater, and later on she became a winner of international award in ice skating.

    Ice Flower

    Ice Flower

    We invite you all to enjoy the screenings of these films during the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and show your support to our students and graduates!

    Transit directed by Marwan Al Hammadi
    UAE 2014 -5 min.

    Ice Flower directed by Shereen AbouOuf
    UAE 2014 -15 min.


    September 23, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 7945

  • Kuwaiti Actor Dawood Hussain Visits NYFA Abu Dhabi

    Dawood Hussain

    Dawood Hussain with Abu Dhabi students

    Dawood Hussain, the famous Kuwaiti actor in the Middle East and GCC, recently surprised the New York Film Academy’s students in Abu Dhabi by visiting the campus, as his son is a student at the Academy. Hussain is known for his acting roles in Andaleeb AlDokki (2008) and Sinaryu (2013).

    While at the campus, Hussain shared some interesting stories with students, took photos, and inspired them with his amiable personality.

    Dawood Hussain is one of the many figures in the film industry who have sent their family members to study at the New York Film Academy, and we are honored to be the film and acting school of choice of these luminaries. Other industry icons who have sent family members to NYFA are Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Bono, and many more.

    For more information about our Abu Dhabi campus, please visit our NYFA Abu Dhabi website or email abudhabi@nyfa.edu.


    September 18, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Guest Speakers • Views: 8261

  • Emirati Graduate Stars in Saudi TV Series


    The Emirati graduate from the New York Film Academy “Fatima Al Taei” has her dream come true after completing the One Year Acting program in Abu Dhabi.

    The first long Saudi drama series When the Autumn Blooms has just started on the OSN HD network and will continue for 90 episodes. Fatima is playing one of the lead roles of a girl who faces the challenges of life in a complex society. Fatima is one of the many brilliant UAE national students who had their passion and turned it into a career.

    Congratulations to Fatima! We look forward to seeing more passionate UAE nationals on the silver screen.


    September 10, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 9218

  • New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi Graduation Ceremony


    NYFA Abu Dhabi

    Students taking New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi’s one-year filmmaking program have dedicated the past semester to their thesis film. They have been editing and polishing their original scripts and story-boarding their movies, which involves organizing visual images in chronological order to show at a glance the progression of the narrative.

    Higher percentage of Emirati students (UAE Nationals) than previous years were involved in the films, with new stories and documentaries.

    During the One-Year in Filmmaking, Students wrote, shot, directed and edited 8 short films, and their final pieces was on view to the public on the big screen with student’s families, cast, crew, and friends.

    The event took the place in VOX Cinema, Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi and welcomed the Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al-Janahi who always providing inspiration each semester in his Q&A session at the Abu Dhabi campus.


    June 18, 2014 • Abu Dhabi • Views: 8515

  • NYFA Abu Dhabi Grad’s ‘Stepping Out’ Wins 2 Awards at LA Indie Film Festival


    Natilya PadillaStepping Out, a short film directed by our former Ukrainian student Nataliya Padilla, just received two awards: Best Actress and Best Director at the LA Indie Film Festival.

    The film has also been accepted in the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival.

    The film tells a story about “A young woman takes an emotional journey when she is forced to spend a day in old person skin.”

    Nataliya has studied her first year in Filmmaking at New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi, and moved to the NYFA Los Angeles campus to complete her Masters in Fine Art in Filmmaking.

    Congratulations to Nataliya and looking forward to see more awards!


    March 28, 2014 • Abu Dhabi, Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5300

  • NYFA Abu Dhabi Acting Grad Stars in Dubai International Film Fest’s ‘Best Film Award’ Winner


    Congratulations to New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi Acting graduate, Fatima Al Taei, for her role in Don’t Leave Me, directed by Khalid Al Mahmood. The film received the Best Film Award in the Dubai International Film Festival.

    Fatima plays the role of a woman in her early twenties, Layla, who meets Aisha while at school. Layla is on the verge of losing her eyesight while Aisha is on medication to prevent her from losing her memories. While they don’t recognize each other, they share a connection.

    Be sure to check out the trailer of this award winning film below.

  • NYFA Abu Dhabi Acting Grads Selected into Dubai International Film Festival 2013


    sunset_state-4__large copy

    Congratulations to our two Emirati graduates, Ibrahim Al Khemeiri and Fatima Al Taei, who played the lead acting roles in three films were selected in the Dubai International Film Festival 2013.

    Ibrahim Al Khemeiri studied his first year at the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi and moved to the L.A. campus for his second year to complete his Associate in Fine Art degree in Acting for Film. Ibrahim is playing one of two lead roles in the film, Sunset State, a film that was selected in the Dubai International Film Festival 2013.

    Sunset State explores the fantasies, dreams and memories of two men: an American novelist and an Emirati college student. The nostalgic tale reveals that people are not creatures of logic, but rather emotion.

    Fatima Al Taei graduated from the One Year Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi. She played the lead roles in two short films: Don’t Leave Me, directed by Khalid Al Mahmood, who received many awards on his films and 13:37, directed by Eisa Al Sabousi.
    thirteen__large copy

    November 27, 2013 • Abu Dhabi, Acting, Study Abroad • Views: 5736

  • NYFA Grad Wins at Abu Dhabi Film Festival


    Abu Dhabi FF

    On Wednesday night, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival announced the winners of the Black Pearl Awards for the Emirates Film Competition and the Short Film Competition. The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Emirates Palace.

    Aisha Abdulla, an Emirati New York Film Academy graduate, received her award in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival Emirates Short film competition for her short documentary film Against the Wind. The film was her final project in the 12-week evening program. Congratulations to Aisha!

  • One Graduate’s Journey to the Cannes Film Festival


    Faraz WaqarNew York Film Academy Abu Dhabi grad Faraz Waqar’s graduation thesis film 9:11 AM was selected for its world premiere at the Festival de Cannes 2012 Short Films Corner. The Short Films Corner hands you an annual tailor-made program of industry meets, workshops and conferences that deal with strategic issues. Faraz will benefit from all the advantages of being an accredited attendee of the festival. He can access the Marché du Film exhibitors or those in the Village International. Faraz will also be able to network with all the biggest industry players, whether they are institutions, financiers and the most important international reps in the film business. Talk about opening some doors. What more can a film graduate ask for?

    Tell us where your passion started?

    Studying film and working in film was always my dream. Reviving the film industry in my own country through films has always been my goal. However, the pressure for financial success and lack of support from my family forced me to study Business Management instead of filmmaking. I spent 12 years working in the corporate world as a banker in the Middle East but never let my dream of becoming a filmmaker die. After achieving a fair degree of success in my business career and achieving financial independence, I was in a position to finally pursue my dream and passion.

    What drives you as an artist?

    The Middle East has played a very important role in the of human civilization. In recent years, however, this region has been in the media for all the wrong reasons. Cinema is the most powerful tool to make or break the image of a person, culture or country. Becoming a film director puts you in a position of immense power. You can influence the hearts and minds of people of the world. This is the best way to contribute something which will benefit your own culture. You also enjoy the immense opportunity to be creative. You’re having fun too.

    How was your NYFA experience?

    I joined the 1-year Filmmaking program in Abu Dhabi last February. The institution brought to my doorstep the facilities and instruction that has trained so many prominent filmmakers in the United States. I graduated from NYFA two months ago. It was perhaps the most memorable year of my life. I truly lived my dream. The best part about studying at NYFA was learning from professors who had a wealth of experiences working as directors and cinematographers on world renowned film projects both in Hollywood and in the Middle East. The student body in Abu Dhabi is extremely diverse. We have classmates from Australia, India, Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Pakistan, Lebenon, Switzerland, Iraq, UAE, Nigeria and Denmark. It was superb because you got to make some wonderful friends from different cultures and benefit from their vastly different perspectives. I formed some very close friendships and enjoyed working with this diverse international group. Film school always ends up attracting the most creative and passionate people. The network I’ve established will benefit me in any project I pursue.

    NYFA’s program is intensive and comprehensive. Film projects start from idea conception to script finalization, and ranges from casting, editing, production and post-production. I wrote, directed and edited 8 complete films during my one year at the school. In addition I was also involved in the production of 39 films in various capacities as part of the crew (short films, documentaries and music videos) for other directors. I got full freedom to experiment, shoot and work on different ideas and scripts for my projects.

    We had access to some of the best film cameras in the world. We shot from digital to 16mm, 35mm and even on the Red Epic. It was amazing.

    What is your perspective on screening at film festivals? Advice on the process?

    Recognition at quality film festivals do add a lot of credibility to a new filmmaker’s profile. It gives one confidence as a professional to people. Recognition at a major festival immediately bring you into the spotlight, especially in a market where filmmaking is still in a nascent stage and the people in the industry all know each other. It helps bring your name into notice amongst all in the film making circle. Never make your film with the intention of getting into any particular festival. That is not the way I would do it. Be selective about the festivals you apply to once your film is complete. I believe that whatever comes naturally from your heart will represent you and what you are most passionate about. It will turn out to be your best work. It is also very important to present their films professionally. Films submitted should be properly branded. DVDs must be labelled, craft themed posters meticulously, and make sure to select originally composed or royalty-free music. This improves the chances of selection too. Every small detail helps.

    What kind of advice would you give to the aspiring filmmaker and NYFA student dreaming to succeed?

    Be yourself. Let your work be original. Let it be your best creative effort on a subject you are passionate about. It will naturally bring out the best in you. Believe in your work but never shy away from feedback and criticism from a trusted source. The audience is your consumer, and you must communicate a certain point of view. Being too abstract for the sake of being artistic may cause the message of your film to be lost. Be intelligent. Do not focus on controversial topics for the sake of controversy. Base your film on a controversial topic if you truly believe in it. Your script is everything. Make sure it’s perfect. Make sure it’s engaging and interesting.

    Actors matter the most. Their performance can make or break your film. Select them wisely, prepare them well and value their time and effort. You cannot make a film alone. It’s a team effort. Your crew is contributing in a major way to give shape to your vision. Value them and treat them with respect. Build your team with the next project in mind. Don’t use and discard others. Selfishness and a bad attitude will take you nowhere in a very team-dependent industry.

    To learn more about NYFA in Abu Dhabi please click here.



    April 3, 2012 • Acting • Views: 5407