Sharjah Animation Conference invites entries for SAC Awards 2024

The Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC), a premier event celebrating the creative world of animation, has announced its awards programme and call for submissions for 2024. For their second edition of the conference, taking place from May 1st to 5th at the Expo Centre Sharjah, SAC invites animators, creatives, and storytellers to showcase their talent and contribute to the vibrant animation industry through two challenges, the “Pitch the Project Award”, and the “Book Trailer Award”. Submissions are open until April 15th, with the awards ceremony scheduled for the final day of the conference, May 5th.The top three winners in each award will walk away with exciting prizes, as well as the prestigious recognition that comes with being chosen by the Sharjah Animation Conference jury. This recognition can open doors to future opportunities, industry connections, and a chance to showcase their talents on a global stage. The deadline for submissions for both categories will be April 15th, 2024. Pitch the Project Award: A celebration of Middle Eastern animationThe Pitch the Project Award challenges local artists, authors, producers, and creative minds to develop a captivating pitch document for a potential animated series aimed at preschoolers or kids. This series should be themed around the rich cultures and traditions of the Middle East.The pitch document, in PDF format and no longer than 15 slides (20Mb maximum), should present a compelling title, an enthralling series concept, and detailed descriptions of the show's lively characters and immersive settings. Outlining a typical episode's structure with key plot points will give the judges a glimpse into your storytelling flow.While not mandatory, including bonus materials like character sketches, environment designs, or mood boards that capture the series’ overall aesthetic can significantly enhance one’s pitch.The top three finalists will receive fantastic prizes to take their animation dreams a step further. First place walks away with a cash prize of AED 9,000 alongside a Wacom drawing tablet as well as a professional animation software licence for Toonboom Harmony, and second place will receive a cash prize of AED 5,000, and a Wacom tablet and Toonboom’s Storyboard software, while third place takes home a cash prize of AED 3,000 and a Toonboom Harmony licence, giving them the tools to hone their animation skills.This challenge is an opportunity to showcase the depth and beauty of Middle Eastern cultures through animation. The organisers are seeking innovative ideas that translate into beloved children's stories, promoting diversity and cultural understanding through engaging entertainment. Submissions can be made via the following link on the SAC website Trailer Award: Bringing stories to lifeThe Book Trailer Award invites individuals, groups, and creative agencies to create a promotional video for the “Kharareef” book series by Emirati author Dubai Abulhoul, published by Kalimat Publishing Group. Submissions can focus on either a single book or the entire series. The duration of the video must be between 30 and 60 seconds, and the quality must be at least 1080p and 30fps.The award also offers a lucrative prize pool, with the winning submission taking home a cash prize of AED 9,000 alongside a Wacom drawing tablet and a professional animation software licence for Toonboom Harmony. Second place will receive a smaller Wacom tablet, a cash prize of AED 5,000, and a licence for Toonboom’s Storyboard software, while third place will win AED 3,000 as well as a licence Toonboom’s Harmony software, providing fantastic opportunities to further develop their creative talents.This award recognises the art of promotional advertising and its ability to capture the essence of a book. It celebrates artists who use their skills to ignite the reader's imagination and reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, to elevate the importance of books on the global stage. More information about the "Kharareef" book series and submission guidelines can be found on the SAC website at the following link by the bestThe Pitch the Project Award will be evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges including Krist of Serrand, a renowned artist; Kamel Weiss a Business & Content Director at Spacetoon; as well as Andrea Bozzetto producer and director from Studio Bozzetto, and Olivier Dumont President of Hasbro Production. These jury members will also be joined by Pietro Pinetti and Khoula Al Mujaini, the Artistic Director and Executive Director of SAC, respectively.For the Book Trailer Award, the jury comprises artists Kristof Serrand and Sandro Cleuzo; producers, Giorgio Scorza, CEO, Director and Art Director at Movimenti Production and Abdulaziz Othman the Founder and CEO of Zeez Production House, with additional insights from Dubai Abulhoul, author of the “Kharareef” book series, Mariam AlObeidli, Managing Director of Kalimat Group, joined by with Pietro Pinetti, and Khoula Al Mujaini the Artistic Director and Executive Director of SAC, respectively.

Flowwow debuts family card game infused with local artistry

Dubai: This Ramadan, Flowwow, a UAE-based gifting marketplace for local brands, is fostering the spirit of meaningful interactions, unity and togetherness with the launch of a card game: "Ramadan Moments: Family Game for Heart-to-Heart Talks.” Developed in partnership with Emirati digital artist Mariam Alobeidli, this deck of playing cards aims to bring UAE families and friends closer during Iftar evenings while introducing them to the unique local artistry and craftsmanship. The UAE's cultural landscape has evolved significantly in recent years, with a surge in art initiatives, institutions, galleries, and creative spaces. Inspired by the boost of local cultural and artistic flow, Flowwow collaborated with the local artist Mariam Alobeidli to bring a touch of artistic splendor to the Ramadan game and empower local voices in the art industry. On a mission to support local brands, Flowwow shifts to promoting local art, upholding the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East. As Mariam Alobeidli crafted her artwork, she poured her heart and soul into each stroke, infusing her cherished childhood memories with the essence of Ramadan:Takias hold cultural significance, as many traditional living rooms lacked couches or chairs, relying instead on floor seating arrangements;Prayer beads as a sign of importance of prayer during Ramadan, the beads serve as a reminder of the Muslim connection to God during this sacred time;  "Dalla" (tea pot) highlights the cherished family gatherings, representing the warmth and hospitality shared among loved ones;The crescent moon is a nod to the traditional practice of announcing the start of Ramadan upon sighting the crescent moon; "Midfa'a" is the momentous occasion of breaking the fast. The sound of the midfa’a signals the end of the fast and the beginning of the Maghrib prayer. “Each of these elements holds deep cultural significance, not only within Ramadan but also within the broader Emirati heritage. These symbols serve as reminders of our traditions, values, and the importance of community and faith, and I was honored to incorporate them into the game”, added Mariam Alobeidli. The deck includes 30 uniquely designed cards, with each card featuring a profound question for every day of Ramadan. These questions aim to foster deep conversations, create shared moments of joy, and embody core ethical principles during the Iftar evenings.Commenting on the brands’ special launch Slava Bogdan, Flowwow ?EO and co-founder, added: “The holy month of Ramadan often sees an increased emphasis on gifting, reflecting a culture of generosity and celebration within UAE families and communities. As a gifting marketplace it’s our mission to bring the Emirati people something truly unique and meaningful this Ramadan, reflecting the core spiritual values of the sacred month. In response to this demand we decided to create the "Ramadan Moments" card game with a fusion of local artistry. So, our aim in developing this game was to not only provide a thoughtful aesthetic gift option but also to facilitate stronger interpersonal connections during this significant time." Mariam Alobeidli crafted the entire design concept and drew inspiration from the richness and diversity of Emirati culture, tight family values and the long-lasting tradition of gift-giving during the Holy Month.To play the game you have to pick a card daily and sincerely discuss answers, creating a ripple of honesty, integrity, and positivity throughout your home. Amidst conversations filled with love, laughter, and blessings, the “Ramadan Moments” adds a sprinkle of magic to make these occasions truly unforgettable.