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Watch: Smith & Foulkes’ ‘Dreaming Together’ Celebrates Emirati Culture

The Nexus Studios directorial duo’s film was the centerpiece of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020; inspired by Al Sadu, a Bedouin artform, the 2D animation blends colors of the nation’s landscape to create wishful scenes of a future with greater equality and inclusion.

Nexus Studios directorial duo Smith & Foulkes created a 2D animated film, Dreaming Together, to celebrate the UAE’s 50-year history and culture. It was produced in concert with the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Tellart, and Kossmanndejong.

Taking inspiration from the Bedouin artform, Al Sadu, the story placed three generations of family life at the heart of the narrative. Drawing on colors reminiscent of the nation’s landscapes, the film blends accurate historical moments with hopeful re-imagined scenes of what life could look like in the future, with a wish for greater equality and inclusion.

The directors worked closely with an all-female team of Emirate archivists who were consulted on creative decisions every step of the way.

Dreaming Together was shown on an 8K, 24-metre screen at the Pearl Theatre as the centerpiece of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020, which was built for the event. Along with the screen, the semi-circular auditorium included rising seats and surround-sounds providing an immersive multi-sensory feast.

According to Nexus Studios directors Smith & Foulkes, “How many times in one’s career are you asked to create a film that celebrates the history of a Nation? It was a privilege to be able to travel through the country, immersing ourselves in Emirati history and culture. At the heart of this story are three generations of family life, specifically chosen to show the unparalleled speed of change and the experience of living through these times. This is a unique moment in time when all three generations are still here to tell this tale.”

Source: Nexus Studios

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.