Star Academy Arab World to Perform at TROPFEST Arabia

Arab stars from season eight of the hit TV show to entertain crowds at the inaugural TROPFEST Arabia film festival

TROPFEST Arabia today announced that stars from season eight of Star Academy Arab World, one of the region’s most popular reality TV shows, will perform at the short film festival taking place on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi on November 4, 2011.

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Star Academy Arab World is the Arabic adaptation of the French television show Star Academy. Since its launchin 2003, the Pan Arab reality TV show has become a massive hit across the region and shares the goal of supporting emerging Arabic talent with TROPFEST Arabia.

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As part of the musical addition to the film line-up are performances by various Star Academy season eight favorites including the Lebanese Franco-Armenian Artist Gilbert Simon, Palestinian Lian Bazlamit known for her popular song Laylat, and Egyptian Nesma Mahghoub who trained at the age of ten at the Children’s Choir of the Cairo Opera House under the leadership of the Maestro Selim Sahab. Joining them will be Egyptian super star Ahmed Ezzat, who is best known for the beauty of his voice and unbeatable stage presence, Tunisian Oumayma Taleb and Syrian Sarah Farah.

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In its inaugural year, TROPFEST Arabia has received short film submissions of exceptionally high standard from across the Arab world, from Iraq to the UAE, Oman to Egypt. The films have been shortlisted by John Polson, founder of TROPFEST, and Ahmed Helmy, co-director of TROPFEST Arabia.

Ahmed Helmy, TROPFEST Co Director,said: “I have been amazed by the quality of the films that we received for the inaugural TROPFEST Arabia film festival. The future of the Arab filmindustry is in very safe hands with these young talents, and I’m sure several will have to get used to walking the red carpet very quickly. I would urge everybody who can make it to Abu Dhabi on 4th November to come down to the beach, enjoy all the great entertainment and give these aspiring filmmakers all the support they deserve.”

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The 12 finalists will be premiered and publicly screened for the first time in front of celebrity judges and the audience on the night. The judging panel includes leading UAE film director Nayla Al Khaja; Saudi filmmaker and actress, Ahd, and the director Mamdouh Salem; Lebanese filmmaker and actress, Nadine Labaki; co-founder and director of Lebanese web series Shankaboot, Amin Dora; Egyptian producer and scriptwriter, Mohammed Hefzy and TROPFEST Australia 2011 winner, Damon Gameau. The shortlisted films will also be available online, giving some of the region’srising talent an opportunity to show their creative work to the whole world.

Part of Yasalam, Abu Dhabi’s city-wide celebrations throughout October and November, TROPFEST Arabia is set to bring some of the glamour of the movie industry to the community in the UAE.

About TROPFEST Arabia
2011 marks the first year that TROPFEST has been held in the Arab world. TROPFEST  Arabia 2011 covers the Middle East and North Africa region and is open to Nationals of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The event is supported by twofour54 Abu Dhabi whose aim is to establish a sustainable Arabic media and entertainment content creation industry. TROPFEST Arabia’s aim is to contribute to the development of the Arab film industry by providing an opportunity for the region’s filmmakers to bring their short films to the community. As well as a public screening in Abu Dhabi on 4th November 2011, shortlisted films will be available for viewing online providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the talent that exists in the region. TROPFEST Arabia is an expansion of TROPFEST, which is Australia’s most prestigious short film festival and one of its most iconic cultural events. It is also the largest short film festival in the world. The annual short film competition is open to anyone who wishes to enter – regardless of their background or experience. TROPFEST  Arabia films are unique in that they have all been made specifically for TROPFEST  Arabia and include the TROPFEST  Signature Item (or TSI), which changes each year. The TSI for the first running of TROPFEST Arabia is “STAR”.

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