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The call for submissions for BBC Arabic Festival 2018 is now open. The festival, which is held in central London across seven days and on BBC Arabic TV, shows films and documentaries about the Arab World. A new category has been added for 2018’s festival, for Digital Journalism. All works entered must have been made after January 1, 2016, and reflect on current situations in the Arab world.

Digital journalism is emerging as an interactive multimedia form of storytelling. Audiences can access and engage with stories through images, video, or sound embedded onto maps, blogs, or digital graphics. From immersive virtual reality films to 360 degree filming, and even ‘news gaming’, the possibilities for new filmmakers and journalists are endless.

As every year, the official selection of films and journalistic work, along with the winner in each category, will be decided by an external panel of judges made up of experts and practitioners seeking originality, creativity and technical skill. Judges will include the UK’s Channel 4 News’ Fatima Manji, Time Out’s Dave Calhoun and Doha Film Institute’s Fatma AlRemaihi.

For the Digital Journalism category, entries will be judged based on the project’s innovative use of digital tools and new media, as well as the depth of research.

Head of BBC Arabic, Sam Farah, says “The BBC is creating unique and pioneering work reflecting on the world’s realities, from migration to human trafficking. We want to see what people out there are doing in reflection of their own lives. We believe that introducing a new category for Digital Journalism to the festival enhances our aim to foster journalistic talent focusing on addressing the issues of the Arab world in a contemporary and rapidly developing medium.”

All directors and journalists of the official selection will be invited to come to London and present their work at the festival, which takes place at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in the spring of 2018.

Two special awards, BBC Arabic Young Journalist Award and the Best Work in Journalism Award, will be decided by the BBC Arabic editorial team. Full entry details, along with submission forms, terms and conditions and details of the special award for ‘Young Journalist’ are available on the website:BBCArabic.com/festival.

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