· The screening took place during a press conference at Sharjah’s Zero 6 Mall.
· H.E. Khalid Al Midfa:
- Shams is working to fulfil our leadership’s vision to fuel widespread development across key sectors in Sharjah and the UAE.
- Media and cinema production are top priority for us, given their potential to spark an economic, cultural, and artistic boom in the Emirati community.
- We aim to establish a dynamic filmmaking industry that reflects the realities of Emirati and Arab societies, projecting the UAE’s cultural side to the world.
· The film will premiere to the public on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
· It is the first movie under the UAE Entertainment Experience initiative and the first film “made by the public” in the Arab World.
· The film was directed by Nahla Al Fahad and stars Habib Ghuloom, Merei El Halyan, Mansoor Alfeeli, Amal Mohamad, Abdulla bin Haidar, Haifa Al Ali, and Fatma Jasim.
· It explores subjects ranging from domestic violence to nostalgia, the pursuit of revenge, and solidarity.
· Production and filming took place over a period of three months with more than 100 people, including cast and crew.
Sharjah: Sharjah Media City (Shams) hosted an exclusive screening of the landmark new feature film “218”– the first movie “made by the public” in the Arab World as part of the UAE Entertainment Experience initiative, which debuted in early 2019.
The screening took place at a press conference on Monday, May 17, 2021 at Sharjah’s Zero 6 Mall, bringing together Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council; H.E. Dr Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City; and H.E. Shihab Alhammadi, Director of Sharjah Media City.
Also present at the conference were the film’s director Nahla Al Fahad, and its stars Habib Ghuloom, Merei El Halyan, Mansoor Alfeeli, Amal Mohamed, Abdulla bin Haidar, and Haifa Al Ali, along with several other renowned Emirati actors.
The project is in line with Shams’ mission to enhance media and cinema production in the UAE, as well as the region, and to create opportunities for innovators in the sector. Shams had launched the UAE Entertainment Experience initiative – which the movie is part of – in collaboration with content developers Art Format Lab to fulfil the leadership’s directives to support creative young talents and upskill human resources in every sector – including in media or cinema production – in addition to promoting creativity and innovation in the community.
The film will premiere to the public on Thursday, May 20, 2021, and will be distributed across the UAE by Empire Entertainment – the foreign arm of Empire International.
“Shams is working to fulfil our leadership’s vision to fuel widespread development across key sectors, and drive landmark accomplishments throughout the economic landscape in Sharjah and the UAE,” said H.E. Dr Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City. “Media and cinema production are top priority to us, given their potential to spark an economic, cultural, and artistic boom in the Emirati community.”
“We are proud to be producing and releasing “218” – the first movie made by the public in the Arab World, and the first of many productions under the ambitious UAE Entertainment Experience initiative, which aims to establish a dynamic filmmaking industry that reflects the realities of Emirati and Arab societies, empowers a new generation of filmmakers, and projects the UAE’s cultural side to the world,” H.E. Al Midfa added.
“We will continue to move forward with our journey, and present audiences with more made-in-the-UAE motion pictures that embody our values and principles in the country and the Arab World,” the Chairman of Shams explained. “We are proud of our national talents who have made this project possible, and we are happy to be collaborating with Empire Entertainment to distribute the film and convey its message to the public.”
For his part, Sharjah Media City Director, H.E. Shihab Alhammadi applauded the release of the film, reaffirming that the project was a joint effort between Shams, Art Format Lab, and the crew, who succeeded in meeting audiences’ expectations in the UAE and the region.
“The ultimate goal from the project was to train and empower national talents capable of advancing artistic and cinematic production, creating films that truly represent Emirati society, and drawing attention to important social issues,” Alhammadi noted. “We aim to lay the foundations for an integrated cinema and arts sector that not only draws inspiration from the public, but also engages the audience in the production process.”
We are committed to bolstering the arts and cinema sectors in the country and look forward to ground-breaking works that will act as an instrument of soft power for Sharjah and the UAE. The sector also stands to support our economic objectives, diversifying sources of income, and ensuring prosperity for the emirate,” Alhammadi concluded.
“218” is an Emirati suspense drama that revolves around the story of two young women going through what, on the surface, appear to be three separate experiences, yet are intertwined and connected in their reality. The film explores subjects ranging from domestic violence to nostalgia for the past, the pursuit of revenge, and solidarity.
Production and filming took place over a period of three months with more than 100 people, including cast and crew.
About Sharjah Media City (Shams):
Sharjah Media City (Shams) was established in January 2017 by decree from His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, as a free zone within the Emirate of Sharjah with its own integrated infrastructure. Shams provides an attractive investment environment for major companies, small and medium enterprises, and startups in the emirate, offering a host of services and facilities that allow entrepreneurs to expand and develop their business. It also provides support for human resources in the media and creative industries.