What is WOW Middle East?

Presented by Straight Street Media, UAE
The World of Women’s Cinema - WOW Film Fair Middle East is the first women’s short film fair that promotes and awards the talents of women directors, producers, writers, editors and cinematographers in the film industry internationally. It is an event that offers emerging and established filmmakers the opportunity to screen short works giving a thematic perspective of ... “seeing the world through the eyes of women”. Created by Women in Film and Television NSW, this is the first of its kind event in the Arab world. Committed to improving the status of women, both on and off the screen, the event aims to support and advance women working in film, TV and other related screen industries.

WOW is a unique showcase of films by women or about women, allowing for a different storytelling and giving another perspective of the world through women's eyes. Aiming to be a festival of discovery, celebration, debate, networking and an inspiration for new work – the event is a non profit project presented by Straight Street Media, a Dubai based company committed to improving the status of women, both on and off the screen, by supporting and advancing women working in the film, television and related screen industries.

The 7th WOW (World of Women) Film Fair 2019 is now calling for entries for women who are high achievers across various fields.

If you know of a special woman who you believe should be recognised for her exceptional work towards advancing women in the Arab world or in film, please send a brief email to wowmiddleeast@gmail.com along with their full name, age, nationality and reason why they deserve to win. Entries are welcomed from any sector of society. Nominations are open until Feb 10th, 2020.

Awards include:
Humanitarian of the Year
Business Leader of the Year
Personality of the Year
Sports leader of the Year
Rising talent Leader of the Year (2 Filmmaking Awards)

2019 Open call for film submissions

DEADLINE: December 1st, 2019


COMPLETION DATE‭: ‬Films of any completion date are‭ ‬eligible for submission‭. ‬WOW Film Fair does not have any premiere requirements‭. ‬However‭, ‬the festival does take previous screenings and broadcasts into consideration when making its official selections‭, ‬particularly when films have already screened in the GCC.

LANGUAGE‭: ‬DVD preview screeners and exhibition prints must either be in English or have English subtitles‭.‬

EXHIBITION FORMATS‭: ‬You must have one of the following formats available by December 1st‭, ‬2019‭, ‬if accepted‭, ‬for screening at the‭ ‬festival‭. ‬
HIGH DEFINITION‭ - ‬35mm‭, ‬Blu-Ray‭, ‬or Quicktime‭ (.‬mov‭) ‬file‭. ‬
STANDARD DEFINITION‭ - ‬DVD or Quicktime‭ (.‬mov‭) ‬file‭. ‬
FilmFreeway digital file Mp4

FESTIVAL NOTIFICATION‭: ‬All notifications will be sent by FF email system or via phone to the contact listed on the entry form by Jan 14th, 2020‭.‬‭ ‬You are responsible for updating WOW Film Fair directly regarding any change to your contact information and ensuring that emails from‭ hermoine@straightstreetmedia.ae are not blocked by spam filters‭. No screening fees will be paid to any film makers featured in the festival. It is your responsibility to ensure that download access is available on FF.

WINNERS: All shortlisted films will be notified via the FF system, however only the semi-finalists and winners will be played during the festival. Winners must collect their awards and prizes within one month after the festival. Failure to do so will result in the award or prize being donated to charity.

SUBMISSION FORMAT‭: WOW Film Fair requires ONE‭ (‬1‭) ‬DVD or digital file for review‭. ‬Include the film title‭, ‬running time‭, ‬and format‭ on your disc‭. ‬Quicktime‭ (.‬mov‭) ‬files are also acceptable for entry on a USB device or data disc‭ (‬DVD‭, ‬CD‭, ‬or Blu-Ray‭). ‬Submission materials will NOT be returned‭. ‬

Overall Rating
  • Kumutha LVPA

    Good Good Good Good Good

    September 2019
    Purple no box no gradient
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your support!

  • Lauren Jessie Jones

    Myself and my Director are extremely thankful and grateful for the opportunity to have our film selected as a Semi Finalist the year! Unfortunately due to Gov restrictions our film couldn't be screened so we didn't attend the festival (we're from Australia!), but would love to see any images or footage from the event! Is there a way online to watch the films that were selected but not able to be screened at the event?

    March 2019
    Purple no box no gradient
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the feedback and support Lauren! We have come a long way in regards to what we can show! You can view images from the event on our page here. Scroll down and check ones with 2019 branding. Also you can check out images on our instagram page as well. Hope you can join us soon!

  • Nick Bolton

    I was so excited to receive an email that our film had been selected. So I promoted the fact on our website and social channels, and organised for local friends to attend. Then, when the program was announced, we weren't featured. Naturally to say we were very sad, and confused about this. The organisers tried to say it was something that Film Freeway did. I'm sure this is a wonderful event, but my advice to the organisers would be to check your Communication policies, and don't advise filmmakers they have been selected when they aren't going to be featured in the final programme.

    March 2019
    Purple no box no gradient
    Response from festival:

    Dear Nick – Thank you for your feedback and we are sorry to hear you are disappointed despite our clear terms and conditions as well as communication with you personally about the status of your film.

    Nevertheless, as a community event that supports film makers your feedback is important to us as the reason we do this non-profit event is for artists like you.

    As mentioned, after addressing this issue with FF, we were advised to add an intro email for our "selected films in consideration" – which specifically says that even though your film is apart of our "official selection", only the "semi-finalists" will be played at the event itself and being selected does not mean your film is a "winner".

    As a film competition, we have also updated this on all our media platforms as well to avoid further miscommunication or disappointment and will do further updates on our website as well.

    We would like to close by letting you know that being "selected" for WOW is still very prestigious as your film was selected out of 400 entries as one of the top 100 films for our 2019 competition. Being selected also means you can display our laurel and promote your film as such. Wishing you all the best and we hope to see you at further WOW events later this year!

  • Cristina Isoli

    I was very proud that Lightning has been selected at this wonderful and inspiring film festival. Hermione was great and the communication was super fast and easy! Unfortunately, I couldn't be present at the festival, but I saw the pictures and some video online and the event looks great. Hope to be there next year.

    March 2019
    Purple no box no gradient
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your support Cristina! We hope to see you in October for more screenings and the awards ceremony!

  • Lyn Chick

    I received an email to say my film was selected, I sent a thank you email back, then never heard a word - I was very disappointed. L Chick

    March 2019
    Purple no box no gradient
    Response from festival:

    Dear Lyn – Thanks for getting in touch. Due to the high volumes of entries, we only respond to questions that are not already answered on our website and social pages. As a film competition, we only play the semi-finalist films at the screenings. However to ensure there is no further misunderstanding for those who choose to enter – we have taken your feedback on board and have now introduced a "welcome message" which further states that just because your film is "Selected" is doesn't mean it is a winner. Wishing you all the best and hope to see you at WOW soon!