Muscat – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth (MCSY) has launched multiple awards this year, casting the spotlight on burgeoning artistic skills, especially among youth and children. The focus areas include music, film and culture, establishing a platform for artists, producers and directors to collaborate and present novel art forms.
One of the distinguished honours introduced is the 2023 Arts Award. Launched in June, it includes three categories – advertising films, animation and soundtrack – open to Omanis and residents above the age of 18. Among other objectives, the Arts Award seeks to unearth and nurture musical talent, fostering collaborations within the music industry to yield groundbreaking works.
Elaborating on the award’s broader vision, Ibrahim Saif Bani Oraba, Assistant Director General of MCSY’s Arts Directorate, emphasised its focus on talent across diverse artistic domains, including cinema, folk art, performing arts, visual art and digital art.
In the Animation Production category, participants will venture into projects employing varied techniques, from computer-generated imagery to traditional animation. Oraba informed that the objective behind the Films Award is creation of films showcasing Omani nature of three- to five-minute duration and spotlighting a local tourist destination.
Contestants in the Soundtrack Award will receive a film link and are expected to compose an accompanying soundtrack from September 5 to 7, 2023.
Earlier in May, MCSY introduced the ‘Tawasul’ competition, focusing on short films that address diverse perspectives on social media, future job skills and the culture of self-employment. This contest, spanning fiction, documentary and 3D film genres, aims to harness cinema as a tool to foster dialogue among Omani youth, their peers and society at large. The Tawasul initiative also investigates artificial intelligence’s relevance to modern youth skills.
Entries for this award close on October 1, 2023, with films ranging between two and five minutes eligible for submission. Key guidelines specify films shouldn’t have featured in other local contests, public viewings or any social media platform. Respecting public morals and cultural sensitivities is a paramount eligibility criteria.
The jury will select five films, opening them up for public voting on MCSY’s website, though the jury retains the final decision. Winners stand to reap substantial prizes, with a total prize pool of RO15,000 distributed among the top five films.
For children, MCSY unveiled the Child Culture Award. This award comprises two competitions: ‘Oman Speaks’ and ‘Speak so I See You’. While ‘Oman Speaks’ challenges writers to pen stories for young readers promoting Omani heritage, ‘Speak so I See You’ is a public speaking contest for children aged 7-12 years. It encourages them to craft a video clip discussing a chosen topic, with finalists vying for the top spot on stage.
These efforts underscore MCSY’s commitment to fostering artistic flair and cultural interaction across various demographics, enriching Oman’s cultural landscape.