Friday, April 13, 2012

The Bahraini film industry comprises of budding independent film makers whose films deals with realistic issues. With the cinema slowly expanding its foundation, there are more than ten Bahraini films being showcased at the 5th edition of the Gulf Film Festival. Ammar Abdulla Al Kooheji is the director of Sokoon; a film where women are the central characters living in a male-dominated society and overcome their problems together.The film showcases the basic human rights which women are deprived of. He says, “For a woman, there is no question about nationality or religion, each woman should be respected.” When questioned about the challenges he faced in making the film, he said, “there was no support from Bahrain, I made the short-film on my own personal finance, so that was my biggest challenge.”

Director of 'Sokoon', Ammar Abdulla Al Kooheji in conversation  wit h our journalist
Photo by: Hileri Bilakhia
The new generation of storytellers who with their talent and skills used hands- on filmmaking, are two young Bahraini women filmmakers Noora Kamal and Aisha Almuqla. They directed a 2.5 minute silent film – ‘Movement [Ta7reek]’, where they experimented with exaggerated comedy to showcase how family and society controls an individual’s decisions in life. Noora Kamal says, “Being a filmmaker in Bahrain is considered as a hobby or just an activity, not accepted as a career.” Presenter Aisha Almuqla added, “With our movie we wanted to show that one should be proud of their culture, and be open-minded when it comes to making decisions in life.”
Parveen Aman, actress of 'Sokoon'
Photo by: Hileri Bilakhia
With the lack of production houses in the country, many Bahraini filmmakers self-finance their projects. Noora Kamal said, “We had immense support from family and friends. While one held lights, the other a camera and helped us setup for the film, all personally financed.” The Bahraini filmmakers are honored to be finalists to the Gulf Shorts competition Film Festival and making an excellent platform to showcase their talent and capability in producing films.

By Qudsiya Siddiqui