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  • Writer's pictureSwati Bhat

IIFA Masterclasses & Workshops With Acclaimed Directors, Kabir Khan & Omung Kumar

Celebrated hair & make-up stylist Nabila to take the audience through refined fashion, style & imagery in her masterclass

Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi director will not only trace his beginnings in cinema during ‘Director’s Cut with Kabir Khan’, along with thoughts and anecdotes but also share five tips for aspiring directors.

The National Award-winning director of Mary Kom, who is also the applauded production designer of films like Black and Saawariya, will draw or create a set design on a chosen subject while conducting ‘A 360 degrees of creativity in Cinema with Omung Kumar’

Swati Bhat

The International Indian Film Academy and Awards (IIFA), India's largest film festival, returns to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on May 26th and 27th for its 23rd edition.

The show this year will be position in the Etihad Arena, the Middle East's largest state-of-the-art indoor entertainment stage. Two IIFA Masterclasses - 'Directors Cut with Kabir Khan' and 'A 360 Degrees of Creativity in Cinema with Omung Kumar' - will be held at The Community Hub, part of twofour54's media and entertainment community Yas Creative Hub.

The IIFA 'Directors Cut' series, moderated by Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner Hans Fraikin, will discuss the art of storytelling from behind the camera. The objective of the workshop is to educate, motivate, and inspire film aficionados, film students, and other attendees interested in the Indian film business.

Knowledge exchange with Kabir Khan

Kabir Khan, an Indian film director, screenwriter, and cinematographer, has successfully completed large-scale cinematic projects while maintaining logistical efficiency and creative flare. His 2012 thriller, Ek Tha Tiger, launched Bollywood's most lucrative action franchise and YRF's spy world. Bajrangi Bhaijaan, his 2015 comedy-drama, is one of the highest-grossing Hindi films in the UAE. More recently, his 2021 biographical sports drama, '83,' has received a lot of attention, with one of the biggest openings in global markets, including the UAE.

Kabir will offer his opinions on cinema and some experiences from his 27-year journey, beginning with his early days as a cinematographer on Gautam Ghose's Beyond the Himalayas, a documentary made for the Discovery Channel in 1996. He'll talk about how he discovered his dream of being a filmmaker and how his work in news and documentaries shaped his career as a feature film director. During the talk, Kabir will also discuss how he chooses stories and refines scripts, as well as his distinctive storytelling style and thoughts on the future of the cinema business.

The session has already generated a great deal of attention. Kabir is thrilled to discuss unique case studies, notes on character creation and casting, and his process for putting his vision to the screen.

"I'm looking forward to the interaction because it will allow me to reflect and introspect on my choices." This type of knowledge sharing not only provides for interesting discourse, but it also benefits cinema. "I will not only be celebrating box-office wins and awards, but also reflecting on the failures of projects one was passionate about, as well as negative press that can dent your confidence as a filmmaker temporarily, but never keep you down," says Kabir, who will share details about his dream projects and future plans, as well as five tips for aspiring directors.

Interactive Session and Creation with Omung Kumar

The Masterclass with Omung Kumar promises to be equally captivating. Omung is an award-winning artist, production designer, art director, writer, and director in Indian cinema and television. He has been praised as a "creative genius" by many.

From being a TV host and aspiring actor, he went on to handle production design for a number of major films, including Chameli, Black, and Sawaariya. Omung made his directorial debut in 2014 with the Mary Kom biography, which won the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. He went on to direct three more films, including one about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Omung will discuss how his dream of being an actor enabled him to understand and develop his creative streak. He will also reveal how long it takes to create an ‘Omung Kumar’ piece of art. “I will be sharing a case study or two from favourite projects, along with influences and inspirations that helped create these works of art. The idea is to help understand how to take their flair for painting into the world of film and television,” asserts the production designer and filmmaker Omung Kumar.

During the session, Omung could also be persuaded to pick one TV show that he would love to recreate, explaining how he would change it from its existing style.

While debating on the standout moments in his career as an art director, Omung will share what inspired him to direct a challenging genre like a sports biopic of a living person still winning laurels, his prep for Mary Kom and how much being an artist has impacted his work as a director. “The interaction will be a journey in itself, starting from the beginning to what I am doing next, if the awards and accolades have influenced my thoughts and changed my work, along with a few words of wisdom for those who plan to follow me into the industry,” he says.

Omung will not only explain his work in television, films, and what he has made, but he will also draw or build a set design on a chosen subject while doing the masterclass. This piece will be auctioned off for charity or donated to Yas Creative Hub, where it will be displayed prominently.

Know more about Hair and Makeup

ZERO Makeup and team NABILA partnered with the acclaimed International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA’s) in 2018 and are going to be the official hair and makeup partners for the 23rd Edition OF IIFA Weekend and Awards, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

The fabulous partnership has led to the upcoming collaboration, where Nabila’s well-honed aesthetics and innovation will once again be seen on the IIFA stage.

With an instinctive ability to anticipate trends, Nabila has consistently fueled her career's upward spiral with new milestones and iconic photographs. The brand now leads a network of salons known for their cutting-edge procedures. The team continuously collaborates with a wide range of award ceremonies and fashion weeks, having received over 100 accolades and earning global relevance as a creative force.

Ahead of the masterclass, Nabila said, “I am thankful to IIFA for adding the hair and makeup segment to the creative workshop series. Here I will share insights into the pitch, process and production involved in image making.”

Abu Dhabi, a destination for global film production

The Abu Dhabi Film Commission has welcomed the chance to host these three masterclasses during IIFA 2023 in May.

“These masterclasses help connect commercially successful and critically acclaimed filmmakers, like Kabir Khan and Omung Kumar, with an audience that shares the same interest in the art of filmmaking. The workshops will prove to be immensely beneficial for both creatives looking to pursue a career in film as well as established filmmakers who want to evolve their skills and understand their trade better.

“Abu Dhabi Film Commission has always focused on developing the incredible talent in this region and supporting film industries from across the globe. This is especially true for Indian cinema, which is extremely popular in the UAE and regularly supported by ADFC (Abu Dhabi Financial Center) through the services we provide and the 30% cashback rebate we offer. We have worked closely with numerous major Indian productions and will continue to support the Indian film industry as it continues to grow, flourish and thrive,” says Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner.


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