Fancy getting involved in Dubai independent films? Here's how
A group of Dubai-based independent film producers have recently come together to work on a variety of projects, from TV show pilot ideas to feature-length films. Lacking substantial capital, they have roped in friends and approached production agencies in the emirate to fund each of their projects, including The Traveller, a short that was picked up by the Cannes Film Festival last year.
A shared love of filmmaking has seen this group of eight – all aged 30 and under, and from countries as far flung as Trinidad, France and Australia – embark on the production of short thriller Red Inside, which they hope to submit to film festivals around the world over the next few months. We spoke to 21-year-old Jordanian director Naim Zaboura and 29-year-old British producer and actress Victoria Borasio to learn more about the team quietly making headway in Dubai’s emerging movie industry. Where did your involvement with the filmmaking industry begin? Naim: I studied film at university. After I graduated I met local director Mohammed Mamdouh, who was working on Dubai-based film Moments of Fiction, and he asked me to produce it. Victoria came in for a casting, and we started working together on that set. We talked about what we would do next, and I explained I was planning an episode for a TV series. She got so excited and was like, ‘Let’s do that!’ Two weeks after Moments… wrapped, we were filming the pilot for Checking In.
You’re also involved with stage productions... Naim: Yes, I joined the local Impact Music and Arts Centre, who are working on a local production of classic musical Oliver!. I was cast as Bill Sikes, and I’m also directing the show. I persuaded Vicky to meet the producers and the music director, she sang to them and now she’s Nancy.
How do you fund your productions? Victoria: Naim was part of the crew for The Traveller, which Ibrahim Renno Jr and I starred in, which was taken to Cannes Film Festival. Because of that, we’ve been fortunate to have had all sorts of people pitching in to help. The money is coming from production houses that believe in us, and who are providing equipment that would otherwise cost us hundreds of thousands of dirhams.
How do you support yourselves financially during a production? Victoria: I went to medical school and trained as a dental hygienist, so I always have that to fall back on if I need some money. It’s great because you can do it one day a week. Naim: It’s all about freelancing. I see if I can work on commercials, and I also teach filmmaking to teenagers at a drama and acting school in Dubai.
You’re currently working on a short called Red Inside. What can you tell us about that? Victoria: It’s a story about a man who is struggling financially, his relationship with his partner is breaking down and he finds himself framed for what looks like a murder. We follow him trying to deal with what’s happened and piece his life back together. Naim: It’s a journey of self-forgiveness.
How long will it take to shoot? Naim: We’re looking at five days to shoot the film, but then the editing process will take much longer. Victoria: Pre-production has been going on for about a month.
Will you approach Dubai International Film Festival to screen the finished film? Victoria:Red Inside wouldn’t be able to be screened at DIFF this year because the timing is too tight, but we’re looking at international festivals such as Sundance in January, Cannes in May and those bigger festivals that support indie filmmaking, such as Rain Dance in the UK. Hopefully that will also start turning industry interest to independent filmmakers in Dubai.
What kind of people are you looking to have on your team? Victoria: I’m into collaborating with people who are passionate. If you want to be involved, get in touch with me or Naim. If we could start to connect everyone who wants to be involved, it has the potential to make the industry here that much stronger. To find out how to get involved in upcoming projects, email Victoria at email@example.com
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WAK Anamjem Oct 17, 2011 08:04 am
Self always apploud for this kind of film promotion in Dubai, particulalry from both world class film industry of Bollywood & Hollywood, I have notice major aim of the movie more in business rather than change in social life, cultural life, natural life more over killer deceases in world wide community. They might afraid of investments in these projects because of non return of their huge investments.
Being a Dubai based Writer & Poet by having plenty of Film courses in India and America, came to an end with the aim with the peaces of the human demand can be included in Action, Adventure ,Thrill,Horror, War and Romantic movies... I have subjects both for Hollywood and Bollywood but afraid of infrigement its happened in 2005 with the Bollywood but now I much secured so interested do contact other wise just to remmeber Keep your Message Alive in a Short span in your movie making venture that work great and soul satisfactions.