Friday, December 13, 2013

The DIFF Young Journalist Award was presented to Neha Kalvani from the Department of Media & Communication, Manipal University at the 10th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for her outstanding talent, commitment and promise for a future career in the industry.

Mentor Colin Brown presents the Young Journalist Award to winner Neha Kalvani

The DIFF Young Journalist Award aims to encourage and promote journalism within the media industry and offers unique and exciting opportunities for students in the UAE.

There were an encouraging number of applications from media students in the UAE to the Young Journalist programme, which offers students the opportunity to cover the festival’s press conferences, screenings and panel sessions and contribute film news and reviews to the Screen Daily, run by Screen International.

Narrowed down to a select group of aspiring journalists, the group was mentored by British film journalist Colin Brown, a freelance film consultant formerly with Screen International who praised Neha Kalvani for her high level of professionalism, enthusiasm, dedication and journalistic skills shown throughout the week.

Manipal Dubai Media & Communication students shortlisted finalists for the Young Journalist Award: (Left to Right) Disha Dadlani, Nikita Wadkar, Neha Kalvani and Lavanya Narayan 

The shortlisted group included Shaikha  Alsabah and Muna Khalaf Bin Alwan alketbi from Zayed University, Lavanya Narayan, Disha Dadlani, Neha Kalvani and Nikita Wadkar from Manipal University Dubai, Aamna Iqbal and George Anastasiades from Middlesex University and Haifa Badi Uz Zaman and Nada Ramadan from the University of Sharjah.

“The Award encourages students to strive for excellence in journalism, and the week at DIFF throws them into a high-pressure, deadline-driven environment,” commented Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of the Dubai International Film Festival. 

“The programme is excellent for strengthening the skills needed in the world of cultural journalism. All of the theory they have learned in their classes is put into practice, along with work ethic and the necessity of thinking on their feet. Neha responded well to the festival’s fast pace and demanding hours, and I look forward to seeing her byline in international publications in the future.”

Neha Kalvani said that the Young Journalist Award has been a wonderful learning experience. "I would like to thank Colin Brown for his constant guidance and creative input, Young Journalist Award Committee and Dubai International Film Festival for the opportunity and making the 10th edition of the festival, an unforgettable experience."

The Award was originally institutionalised in 2008 to encourage and provide students in the region an international platform to gain experience apart from competing with peers. Neha Kalvani is the second Manipal student to have won this prestigious award after Melissa Khan, also a media student, won in 2008.