Tell us about yourself.
I’m Lina and I’m a stop motion animator and film director. I started getting obsessed with creating new worlds and soon enough, I got into creating an animation festival. I connect with all the characters that I create through the life that I lead.
What courses did you take at university?
I took (and I’m still signing up for some) acting for animation, puppetry and marionette. Basically, it teaches you how to create your own puppets. I also took dramatology, which is for theatre and puppets, and I attended some stop-motion workshops where you create a character out of professional tools in order to animate them smoothly on set. And I take make up in order to paint the puppets so that I don’t have to work much with lighting.
What do you hope to change with the introduction of Animate Dubai?
I don’t think change is the word that I would use. I would like to introduce people to each other, people who are really good at animation, and bring in well-known animation producers and directors. Since I have lived in Dubai for six years and I have had the opportunity to meet several people who are so talented, it is only natural that I would like to educate people on how animation works because a lot of people don’t know where to start from. Hence we will offer different programs to cater to the beginners’ needs, which in turn will expose them to a multitude of films belonging to various
What do you do on a daily basis?
I wake up early, check my emails and organise my to-do list. Right now I’m working on a stop-motion set for an animal reserve in Sharjah so I’m going to meet with the artist. I’m also working with a glass artist in order to create a set. After that, I have a couple of meetings for Animate Dubai and then I get back to my emails. In the meantime I am also creating a couple of characters and then I’ll probably animate them. I need to create a miniature set so that I can place things inside and see how it works. Basically, I play a lot and do some adult stuff like attend meetings and then go back to playing.
What are your words of encouragement to people who would like to pursue a career in the animation industry?
Never grow up. Just remember that animation is not just for kids and the journey is worthwhile.
What do you do when you’re not working on animation?
When I’m not working on animation, I’m watching animation. I also enjoy reading and watching a lot of interviews. I’m also always observing people. I like to see how they would react to a certain situation if they were a miniature puppet while being attached to strings. It’s fun to create your own world.
What can people expect from the first edition of Animate Dubai?
For Animate Dubai, we’re starting big but humble. Big as in the content and who we are bringing over. So, expect a program with Arab and international animation from features, adverts, television and web series. We will also be having panel discussions and talks to cater to the needs of people who seek to gain more information on animation. Like, how does writing for animation differ from writing for a short, live-action film and how to connect different parts of animation together from story work, script, developing the characters and storyline, editing, filming and final. We’re also introducing an animation film market, which is a small market consisting of a more advanced audience. It focuses on universities who provide animation courses, among other things. There’s a university in Tunisia, which is the first animation university in the Arab world, that focuses solely on animation and nothing else. The program also guides its audience on what to do with their films after the production process, like which
festival to send it to or how can people or television stations buy it or broadcast it.
What is the future of animation as an industry in the next five years?
We already started using animation in advertising and I think that people are starting to acknowledge the uniqueness of animation as opposed to live footage. I think there’s progress on that front. Animation will also be used as a method of education because animation is very interactive and would facilitate a better understanding of the topic. I think animation is an ideal way to voice an idea. It’s like a moving painting or moving object. Also, animation is very accessible.