The cinema hall was filled with an audience, eager to see what this years' student documentary-makers had cooked up for the festival. Six very different documentaries were screening, each one with its own personality and style.
Each director waited for the audience's reaction to their piece, and one of the six documentaries was my own, Beautiful People. Even though I have done this before, my co-director Suqrat Bin Bisher, and I waited eagerly to hear the audience's comments. There were many filmmakers and media industry personnel in the crowd. And each one was sitting there taking in the stories of the documentaries we had created.
At the end of the screenings we all knew which documentary-makers had won the audience over: The young ladies from Zayed University who created a documentary in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Not only did Dreams in their Eyes win all our hearts, the fact that young Emirati women had visited a refugee camp in another country to make this documentary made us fall even more in love with their movie.
Enough is Enough, directed by Aisha Al Hamadi, an Emirati-American, was a documentary that got the attention of most of the room's UAE residents. Enough is Enough talked about the discrimination the Arab society has towards children with mothers or fathers of different nationalities. Being an Emirati-Briton who has lived here all my life, I could really relate, maybe more than others, to her documentary. It was definitely a hot topic and as a member of the audience mentioned, it discussed the problem of a racist society in the UAE. Or as I like to put it in a less harsh way, "judging a book by its cover". The documentary's message was simple, "We're all different, deal with it."