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Celebrations of the Nation Captured From Behind the Camera Lens

Dec 23, 2012

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‘My National Day’ Photography Competition Organised by Doha Film Institute (DFI) and Supported by Sony ALPHA

Doha, 23 December, 2012 – Photo of the Qatari flag flying high and the National Day Army parade won special honors as the ‘My National Day’ competition returns for the second year to capture the essence of Qatar and the spirit of National Day. The competition was held by Doha Film Institute (DFI) and supported by SONY ALPHA.

The competition saw more than 400 images submitted from over 120 entrants across the country, with each photographer providing a unique and authentic look into celebrating living in Qatar. A diverse selection of the images has been uploaded to DFI’s official website (, providing a retrospective on the December 18 celebrations.

The competition was judged by a panel of established Qatari photographers including Ahmed Al Khulaifi, President of Qatar Photographic Society, and photographers Khalifa Al Obaidly and Yasser Mustafa. The Competition’s top prize – SONY α(NEX-7) 24.3 Mega Pixel Camera with SEL1855 Lens – was awarded to Abdallah El Binni for his photograph ‘Celebrating al Ad3am, whilst second prize – a SONY α(NEX-5ND)- 16.1 Mega Pixel Camera with SEL1855 & SEL16F28 Lens – went to Ayilliath Kuttiyeri Bijuraj for his photograph ‘Spirit of Reflection’.

Commenting on the competition, Ahmed Al Khulaifi said: “It is important to have photographic and cinematic competitions of this sort more often. It improves the visions of photographers whether they’re amateurs or professionals. I hope there will be more competitions of this sort.”

Khalifa Al Obaidly: “It’s a strong competition with a variety of participants both amateurs and professionals, and we noticed that more pictures are taken by smart cameras. I noticed also that most pictures focused on the human element as the core of National Day celebrations and joy.”

Mr Sameer Kazi- Division Manager – SONY representing Darwish holding in Qatar quoted: “On behalf of 51 East the premium luxury retail chain in Qatar, and Sony, the leading consumer electronics and entertainment brand, it has always been a great opportunity to partner with DFI. It was our pride to be associated with the Qatar National Day Celebrations through this photography competition, which is also in line with our commitment to inspire and support photographers through the power of imaging.”

National Day is celebrated December 18 each year, marking the historic moment in 1878, when the founder of the state of Qatar Sheikh Jasim succeeded his father Sheikh Muhammad Bin Thani as ruler. Across the country, celebrations were held including parades, ceremonies and private events. Much of the celebrations in Doha centered on the corniche, with motorists decorating their cars and thousands of people joining in the fun.

About Doha Film Institute:
Doha Film Institute (DFI) is an independent cultural organisation established in 2010 to incorporate Qatar’s film initiatives under one banner; organically supporting the growth of the local film community by enhancing industry knowledge, cultivating film appreciation and contributing to the development of sustainable creative industries in Qatar. DFI’s year-round platforms include funding and production of local, regional and international films, educational programmes, film screenings, and the annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF).

With culture, community, education and entertainment at its foundation, DFI serves as an all-encompassing film hub in Doha, as well as a resource for the region and the rest of the world. DFI is committed to supporting Qatar’s 2030 vision for the development of a knowledge-based economy. DFI has established a number of strategic cultural partnerships with leading local and international organisations including Tribeca Enterprises, World Cinema Foundation, Maisha Film Lab, Katara Cultural Village and Giffoni Film Festival.