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Movie website to go live

mbc2 launches movie portal as part of 'Movies in Motion' competition

Regional 24-hour movie channel mbc2 has announced plans to launch a website for short movies in December, which it reckons will become the ‘YouTube of the Middle East'.

The announcement comes as the TV channel launches its new Movies in Motion competition in the UAE along with Nokia. The competition gives budding directors in colleges and universities around the country a chance to submit a two-minute movie using a Nokia N93 phone, which will be provided by the firm.

The competition is being launched with a road show that will take a team of industry experts to approximately 20 UAE schools and universities where they will offer participating students a crash course in movie production, from storyboard creation to, making the final cut.

According to mbc, a selection of the best movies produced will be entered into a special category called 2 Minute Movie Award at the Dubai International Film Festival, which takes place from December 9 to 16. Also, the winning film will be aired on mbc2.

At a press conference held in Dubai yesterday, Andrew Maskall, senior channel marketing manager stated, "We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and positive reception that the mbc2 Movies in Motion initiative has received from the educational institutions that have been approached, and we can't wait to see the finished products. This is just the first phase in our long term commitment to mobile movie making and we will have some very exciting announcements to make at this year's Dubai International Film Festival."

Maskall went on the reveal one of those announcements, "An official website for Movies in Motion will go live in December during the Dubai Film Festival." He added that although the competition is currently only open to students in the UAE, the website launch will mark the opening of the competition to the people living across the region. Maskall remained tight-lipped with regard to the specifics of the website but revealed that it would be similar to Youtube.com.

At present, the UAE’s ShoofTV.com and Jordan’s Ikbis.com are the two main user-generated video websites specific to this region.