British Council Creative Economy

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19 September 2013

I’m privileged to be an Arab female entrepreneur

Reem Hameed, Founder of UAE content creation company Collective, and one of the winners of this year's YCE Multimedia/Film Awards, tells us about how she came to start her company, and her ambitions for the UAE film industry.

I left the legal industry in pursuit of a more creative vocation, driven by the challenge to make a living doing work that I love.

I was employed as the Head of Digital at a production company in Dubai, where I worked with some of the region’s most prolific and innovative brands to create regionally specific multi-platform content.

As I began to delve deeper into the UAE film industry, I continually saw gaps in the market that I felt traditional production companies in the region did not meet. I was exposed to a plethora of local, Arab talent that had very few avenues or platforms to tell their stories. I also felt that technology and interactive workflows were underutilized in the film production process. Most importantly, I learned that traditional film production companies in the region operated in silos. I felt that there was room for a more collaborative business model – one where we could mentor and be mentored, share our resources and elevate the quality of films being produced in the MENA region.

In response to this gap in the market, my partners Omar Abbas, Peter Simons and I founded Collective. We founded the company with a purpose and vision that extends far beyond our business. Our personal responsibility to the UAE film industry is to support and encourage the development of other creative entrepreneurs and colleagues. We believe in facilitating discourse and in encouraging people to tell their stories through film and any other forms of media.

I’m privileged to be an Arab female entrepreneur in the UAE film industry, which has seen exponential growth in the past few years. I absolutely love my job; everyday, I work with amazing people who are dedicated to their craft. I embrace the systematic obstacles that I face and see them as opportunities to be a catalyst for change.