The finalists in the 2013/201414 Zoom Short Film Competition by British Council Yemen
The finalists in the 2013/2014 Zoom Short Film Competition by British Council Yemen ©

British Council

Zoom is a short film competition that was first launched in 2010 with an aim to discover and develop local creative talent and stimulate a local film industry in Yemen.


In December 2013, we put out a call for aspiring film-makers to submit a five-minute film to enter Zoom. Their entries were judged by a panel which included Yemeni director Bader Bin Hirsi, photographer Ibi Ibrahim, UK producer Alastair Clark and UK film-maker Owen Davies.

In February 2014, the five finalists travelled to Rabat, Morocco, and spent eight days learning professional skills ranging from camera work, sound design, visual storytelling and editing. After their crash course, trainers from the Broadway Media Centre watched as each finalist then wrote, directed and edited a short film in a single day.

Watch the five finalists who took part in the competition from the perspective of young film-maker Azzam Al Baki.

As with many collaborative projects, the UK trainers set out expecting to deliver knowledge - but came back realising just how much they'd learned themselves. As Broadway's Al Clark observed:

'This was a brilliant opportunity to work with five young film-makers from a culture which I'd had no previous experience of, nor any real contact with before. There were long days spent together working - and also fun nights out bowling and chatting - and we spent much time swapping stories of our home cultures. I hope we've been instrumental in a small way in the career progressions of these five fantastic people - but I'm also aware how the experience has changed us and our perspective as film-makers and trainers!'

Watch the five films made by the competition finalists.


The finalists gained a week of professional film training, a support group and some new friends - UK audiences will have the chance to meet one of the five later this year, when one finalist will be selected to attend a major UK film event and during a screening of his/her film at the Nour Arabic Arts Festival.

The first Zoom Short Film Competition was initially launched in 2010 and won by Ziryab Al-Ghabri with 'The Gift Maker', who is also on the judging panel for the final films this year.

This year's participants are determined to make films that will be screened internationally – and they’re in good company as Yemeni film-makers Sarah Ishaq and Abdulrahman Hussien; who made the Academy Award nominated film Karama Has No Walls; will be apart of the final films judges.

See also

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