Oscar winner Spike Lee and Grime star Kano coming to new Dubai festival On.DXB

The multimedia gathering will be held at Dubai Studio City in November

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 01:  Spike Lee attends "American Skin" photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 01, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Powered by automated translation

Oscar-winning director Spike Lee and grime music superstar Kano have been announced as the headliners of On.DXB.

The festival will be held from Thursday, November 21 until Saturday, November 23 at Dubai Studio City, and is set to "include engaging sessions, keynote talks, live pitches, workshops and panel discussions led by international experts and major companies across the film, game, video, and music industries".

Lee and Kano will join US YouTube star Liza Koshy and Saudi Arabian gaming personality MjrmGames at the event.

Lee comes to the UAE fresh from Oscars success. Earlier this year, his most recent film, BlacKkKlansmen, won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In his anticipated session, he'll discuss his three-decade career in ­Hollywood, in which he has directed films ranging from the socially conscious, such as 1989's racially charged Do the Right Thing and the epic 1992 biography Malcolm X, to box office hits such as Inside Man in 2006.

Top Boy star Kano will end the festival on Saturday, November 23, with a trademark storming set. His live gigs have had him named the "king of grime." He will be supported by Egyptian trap artist Wegz and Somali rapper Freek who lives in the UAE.  

Online content creators will undoubtedly look forward to Liza Koshy's appearance. With up to 25 million YouTube channel subscribers, Koshy will deliver the keynote address for the festival's digital stream. She will discuss her content evolution from Vine to YouTube, in addition to her recent transition to television streaming with the new show Liza on Demand. Koshy will also shed light on her burgeoning Hollywood career, which saw her appearing in 2016's BOO! A Madea Halloween and the upcoming Netflix film Work Out.

Meanwhile, MjrmGames will discuss ways to build engaging YouTube content for  a gaming audience. Further on the regional front, Emirati filmmaker Mustafa Abbas will be on hand to discuss his career, which includes the 2014 film Sunset State which was screened at Cannes Film Festival. He will be joined by Dubai filmmaker Asri Bendacha, who was behind last year's influencer documentary Follow Me.

Aspiring regional talents can also get involved: On.DXB has recently announced a Call for Content from film, video, gaming and music creators. With over 250 submissions already received from across the GCC, a panel of industry judges will select the best submissions across the four categories, with winners able to showcase their work during the festival.

Organised by Dubai Media City in cooperation with the Dubai Film and TV Commission, On.DXB aims to support and strengthen Dubai's standing as a media hub for the region.

“As part of our strategy to elevate the regional content creation and media landscape, the exciting On.DXB festival has been designed to unite leading local and regional industry talent, thereby enabling our brightest talents to connect and learn from global groundbreakers such as Spike Lee. We are thrilled to be welcoming so many world-renowned pioneers in their fields to On.DXB in Dubai," said Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Media City.

Chief executive officer of Dubai Film and Television Commission, Jamal Al Sharif, said On.DXB should also help inspire and stimulate the local film industry.

"The ongoing evolution of Dubai’s film sector is unfolding amid the wider convergence of music, gaming and other creative industries,” he said “Dubai is adapting to a changing industry landscape and supporting its evolution – we want you to be a part of our journey.”

For the full line and more information on On.DXB is available on ondxbfest.com