The Dutch winner of the inaugural Samsung Short Film Contest, presented in partnership with the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi and Diff, will have his short film screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in May.
Philip Rashid, known to many local film fans thanks to his role as choreographer in Hana Makki's autism documentary, As One, won the prize for his short Happy Birthday following a screening of all 15 films in contention for the prize at JBR's The Beach cinema on Friday, December 12.
“It’s quite an accomplishment and it’s not been easy, so I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to show my first film at an official festival. I’m definitely hoping to do more now. This is a great start and I’d love to follow up with great things with the people that believe in me.”
The runner-up prize went to Aamna Raffat Jahan for her film The Delivery Boy, which was inspired by the children's story Ali and his Camera by Raymond Pizante, while the audience choice prize went to Vikram Ahuja for Isabelle. The first- and second-place winners received Samsung equipment to help them with their future filmmaking endeavours.
The panel chief Nayla Al Khaja, who also mentored the filmmakers through the process, says of Rashid’s winning film: “The reason why we chose Philip was because he put a lot of time into making the film. There was a lot of thought behind his script, some gorgeous cinematography, it took place in one room and was very subtle. I think he’s at the very beginning of a very good career and hopefully this award will give him a push to go to Cannes and do a lot of networking and really give him a boost to make his next film, which hopefully will be even better.”