This interview is part of Ananke’s Special Edition “Emirati Women’s Day” published on ISSUU.
Reim El Houni’s career includes working with TV stations like the BBC to being an Executive Producer and Head of Events at Dubai One. Reim launched her own production company Ti22 Films in January 2011, which has won 25 New York Festival Awards & a Cannes Corporate Media and TV Award. Reim has worked with some of the globe’s largest multinationals such as Amazon, Reebok, Swarovski, LG Electronics, to name a few, and broadcasters such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and many more.
Reim has served on the Jury of the New York Festival for 7 years and is a speaker, moderator and panelist. Reim founded dubai ON demand in 2014, where the world of branded content and influencer marketing collide, which has evolved into a video based personal branding membership community for business owners and thought leaders. Reims passion for video has led to the birth of three more video concepts – Fusion Digital Content, Dynamite Animations and the DIY Video Academy. She also supports organizations as a media consultant and video strategist, developing workshops and training for teams. Reim is a Video Content Creation Coach who believes that the era of video is NOW! Her latest challenge is Executive Producing the daily live TV show for Expo 2020!
- Tell us about yourself and your journey that led you to where you are today?
‘Ambition is the path to success; Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in’ – Bill Bradley. That quote sums up my journey. I have always been ambitious and a big believer of having big goals and when you have big goals then the only thing you can do is keep working hard and be persistent till you achieve them. I knew at a very young age that media was my calling. I was very passionate about TV and communicating through visuals and I always found out of the box ways to keep my career moving forward.
I remember my first internship at the age of 16 at MBC and being excited and in awe of a live studio environment. I started as a production runner and researcher at BBC Education when I was only 18 years old, that was the first time I saw my name in the credits of a TV show and it excited me that I knew that was what I would continue to do for my career. From that point I worked my way up the ladder in this industry till my move to Dubai in 2007 where I eventually became Executive Producer and Head of Events at Dubai One.
By 2010 I was ready for a new chapter and after working on Mission Impossible 4, I realized everything is possible and started my own company Ti22 Films in January 2011. Over 10 years later and we are going strong with over 25 International Awards and with a few other sister brands as well including our popular video branding membership, dubai ON demand, Fusion Digital Content where the world of Social Media comes together and Dynamite Animations.
- Tell is about your organization, what is the inspiration behind it?
Honestly it started from a place of wanting to create emotive, high quality, emotional and impactful films that stood out. Quality, Accolades, Achievement are all important to the brand, however a key part of the inspiration is Tony Robbins! Because I personally am a big fan, I try and instill as many learnings as possible so the organization and the team can benefit. Again bringing us back to thinking big, not limiting yourself and staying in a positive state. With our Video Branding Community dubai ON demand, it’s about creating an environment that provides accountability, support and ultimately transformation for business owners and consultants who are ready to take their personal brand to the next level. That has also been a very rewarding journey supporting entrepreneurs push themselves out of their comfort level.
- What have been some of the biggest milestones?
Definitely the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign I produced in 2008 for Breast Friends, actually before Ti22 Films was formed. The campaign won 2 Golds and 2 Silver World medals at the New York Festival. On winning the awards, having the realization that my work can compete on a global level and win was a big milestone. Other milestones include starting the DIY Video Academy during the pandemic which essentially is what helped us pull through. Also securing the contract to produce a daily show at Expo, which we are all happy to see come to fruition.
- If you could tell us about some of the challenges and the journey of overcoming them?
One of the key challenges I have faced in the past is being surrounded by doubters. Those who don’t believe in you and your success. I have learnt to think big regardless, plan what you will achieve and how you will do it and ignore anyone and everyone, and I do mean everyone, who isn’t ready to support you.
When I started my business I had very few friends who ran businesses and I found it to be a very lonely experience. I also found that my old work colleagues couldn’t relate to my challenges anymore. Thanks to an amazing networking organization called BNI I was able to build a network of friends, colleagues, supporters who really made a difference.
- What are your views on gender equality and the importance of inclusion as well as diversity as far as running and especially managing a company is concerned?
I am in what is considered a male dominated industry. I have had several challenges along the way which has made me emphasize the importance of gender equality in our day-to-day. I am a strong believer you need the best person for the job or the best fit for the team, everything else is secondary.
- Why in your opinion is diversity important as far as a business is concerned?
I think it’s so important to have different voices and perspectives otherwise everything starts to sound and feel the same. Also we are in an industry which has typically been male oriented, so by allowing females a seat at the table, we really are shifting perceptions.
- In August, we celebrate Emirati Women’s Day, can you share your thoughts about the UAE and what this celebration means to you?
The UAE is home, it is where I have chosen to develop roots and I feel blessed and fortunate to be living in a country that is progressive, innovative, and has taken measures to ensure we stay safe.
- We would like you to end this interview with a message for all our readers.
Always have faith. Always believe in yourself. But above all be ready to take massive action to bring your dreams into the realm of reality.
Visit TI22 Films: www.ti22films.com