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Saudi game designer bags the Yugo Bafta Award

The Bafta Student Awards is an annual event celebrating storytellers' works globally.

Saudi game designer bags the Yugo Bafta Award
[Source photo: BAFTA | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Saudi student Rafif Kalantan has won an award for game design at the renowned 2023 Yugo Bafta Student Awards.

Kalantan’s narrative-driven puzzle-like game Eros Xavier’s Love Solutions picked up the accolade in the games category, becoming the first female director and non-European to win a Bafta award.

The Bafta Student Awards is an annual event celebrating storytellers’ works globally. This year, the event received 754 submissions from 30 countries.

Kalantan was one of the students supported by NEOM to attend the renowned National Film and Television School in the UK.

Her entry is the culmination of an intensive two-year Master’s training program that offers students skills and creative knowledge to design, device, and build games from inception to delivery.

The game follows Eros Xavier, a retired cupid who is pessimistic about love and has decided to open a private business for hire as a match-breaker.

“I am honored to have been selected as the winner of such a globally renowned award, especially being the first female director and first non-European to win this category,” said Kalantan, talking about the award. “This wonderful achievement also showcases the capabilities of the developers from the Kingdom and the Middle East as a whole and how the game industry in the region has a lot of potential.”

Jon Wardle, Director of the National Film and Television School, congratulated Kalantan and added, “We’re also very grateful to NEOM for continuing to help make our courses accessible with life-changing funding opportunities.”

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