By Kummam Mohammed Al Maadeed
As the Gulf’s film industry begins to boom, more and more Khaleeji filmmakers are exploring topics through traditional and non-traditional genres. Making short films has proven to be popular in the region, as it’s often the first step in a filmmaker’s career.
‘I’, a short by Qatari director Ali Al Anssari, brings to life the story of a psycho perfectionist who killed his friend because he had an asymmetrical face. The horror film has a very dark, grim rhythm that reflects the dark mind of the killer at its centre. The psycho is played by the new Qatari talent Saad Al Naimi, who is perfect in the difficult role of a madman who believed it was a necessity to murder his friend.
In ‘Sanctity’, director Ahd Kamel explores the life of Areej (Ahd Kamel), a poor Saudi woman who had the misfortune of losing her husband while carrying her first child. Kamel approaches the subject of the hardships a widow faces in Saudi Arabia with compassion and intelligence in this brilliant drama. The subject of gender separation comes up as well, as Areej shelters a homeless man in her house, thus adding to the complications in her life. The simplicity of the film’s style and the delicate treatment of scenes give the film a soul of its own making. A film not to be missed.
These two short films show the variety of stories and contrasts of points of view of filmmakers in the region. Directors are open to testing and experiencing all genres and are not afraid to tap into the river of untold stories in the Gulf region. It’s a sure sign that the Khaleeji film industry is strong enough to compete on an international level.