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Fear and Learning in Dubai: Middlesex Dubai Hosts Its First Film Conference

Filmmakers, film lovers, and film scholars gathered for a day-long symposium on the medium, as the first Middlesex Dubai Film Conference was held on April 9th 2015 at the University’s Oasis Theater, in an event devoted to film’s most enduringly popular genre: Horror.

The conference was very well attended, with about 50 attendees comprised of students, Middlesex faculty and staff, external academics, and members of the UAE film and arts communities.  The event ran seamlessly throughout the day, and combined both high quality presentations, dynamic and interactive panel and group discussions, and even a screening of the short film Envy the Dead, touted as the first Arab Zombie Film. The day started off with the Keynote talk “Ghosts in the Machine: The Industrial Revolution in Europe and the Rise of American Gothic” by Dr. David Tully, setting the stage for eight lively, informative and entertaining presentations, all organized around the central theme of the Horror genre. 

Presentations included such diverse fare as “Fear and Funny in Bollywood”, “Lost in Translation: Found Footage as Global Phenomenon”, “Certain Shadows on the Wall: German Expressionism and the Birth of the Horror Film”, and “Representations of the Other in District 9”. The Middlesex University Dubai Media and Film programmes were well represented, with presentations by Eve Stubbs, Daniela Tully, and two separate presentations by Dr. Lucyann Kerry. 

The feedback from external attendees was extremely positive, with several excellent community contacts made that will no doubt grow into fruitful future collaborations for our Media and Film programme, future participation in Middlesex University Dubai research events, and an increased awareness of our Media and Film programmes. As with all of our high quality events, this was a Middlesex Team event, so many thanks to the Media and Film faculty, IT, Marketing, and all of our support staff, for contributing to the flawless organization and execution of our First Annual Film Conference!

 

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