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Fall Grants 2023 - Development Stage

Hamida Issa / Feature Narrative / Qatar, Saudi Arabia / 93 min / Original Language: Arabic, English / Interests: Fantasy, Hybrid


A magical realist tale inspired by local Arabian Gulf mythology and set in Khaleeji modernism. Laila, 29, is a young Qatari/Saudi photographer who travels the world documenting culture. She is sent across the Arabian peninsula on a job to document ruins and nature for an outdoors magazine. Laila is in love with the idea of love and romanticises the world around her. She is searching for love, purpose, understanding, spirituality, and her place in the world—learning many lessons on her journey. .


Hamida Issa
Hamida Issa
Hamida Issa
Production Company
Feryal Films, The Film House

About the Director

Hamida Issa is a Qatari filmmaker, writer and producer. She graduated with a BA in Politics from University College London and an MA in Global Cinemas and the Transcultural from SOAS. Hamida has worked for the education team at the Doha Film Institute, and in 2011, she made her first short film, ’15 Heartbeats,’ which premiered at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. She has made many short films since, including video art and a music video, ‘Gamar’, for the world-renowned Palestinian band 47 Soul. Hamida was the first Qatari woman in history to set foot on Antarctica, and her first feature-length documentary, ‘Places of the Soul’, premiered in Jihlava 2023. Her work explores the themes of spirituality, identity, environmental sustainability, tradition and intangible cultural heritage.

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