Friday, April 13, 2012

“Documentary makes people live the experience”- Tareq Yosef

While the official competition for the Gulf Student’s Shorts gets tougher, people lay their eyes on ‘Snap Shot: A Trekking Man’- a documentary by the Saudi filmmaker Tareq Yosef Aldakheelallah. The 17 minute documentary unfolds the journey of Jalal Bin Thaneya, an Emirati activist who undertook a walk to Mecca from Abu Dhabi, UAE, in order to raise funds and social awareness for the people with special needs. The director, Tareq Yosef, walks with him for a day to learn more about the man and his journey.

Being a Saudi filmmaker, Tareq believes there is hope for cinema in his hometown. According to him, there is a massive support from the youth of Saudi Arabia, which could overturn the perspective of films and cinema in the nation. “It’s all a matter of time”, he said. The director talked about how he developed the idea of the documentary through the social networking platform Twitter and Jalal Bin Thaneya being an active user of Twitter, he kept people informed about his journey. After viewing his tweets and visiting his website, the director came to know about his presence in Riyadh, his town.

One of the challenges faced by filmmakers in Saudi Arabia would be shooting on the streets. Tareq said, “A person holding a video camera is immediately questioned by people. Even though people of Saudi have gotten used to photography cameras, they look at you with suspicious eyes when you hold a video camera.” He was, however, thankful that he didn’t have to come across the public during the shoot.

The documentary is an attempt to showcase the determination of an ordinary man to raise social awareness among the public. Tareq Yosef is now working with Jalal Bin Thaneya, with an expectation to expand the film into a feature length documentary, which would be shot in the UAE. Being satisfied with the final outcome of the film, he thinks that a filmmaker always resides by the idea of “it could’ve been better”. Talking about the audience who may not like the movie, he commented, “Even if one person likes it, it is more than enough.”

For schedule of the film’s screening log on to: www.gulffilmfest.com

By Maria Hussain


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