Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A great start in Dubai

Finally winding down from a crazy fun time at the Dubai International Film Festival. What an extravagant set-up and what an exciting city. Being in Dubai at this time is like witnessing history being built. Hundreds of cranes fill the horizon as hundreds of new buildings pop up in this desert by the beach.

The festival was a lot of fun. I didn't get to see many films, but I got to meet a bunch of exciting people with a lot of enthusiasm. The organizers of the festival have really put an effort to make you feel welcome. First class treatment and a great place to motivate the future of Arabic cinema and cross-cultural diversity.

We premiered Captain Abu Raed at the festival, and the crowd was fantastic. We had a full house of 400 people, with a mixture of people who'd heard about the film and some who knew nothing about it. I was really pleased at the laughter and the tears that resulted in a beautiful finale and a long standing ovation. A very special moment and the first sign of success for our special little film.

And we picked up the Best Actor Award for our fantastic Nadim Sawalha (Abu Raed) at the end of the festival. I think this is just the beginning for things to come.
The buzz around the festival was circulating about Abu Raed, and that makes me smile. Next stop... Sundance!!!


Blogger Nas said...

congrats'll be going from the hot sandy desert of dubai to the cold snowy hills of utah, but i know you'll be heating things up with the buzz alone! yallah 3a sundance!

4:06 AM  
Blogger Oksana said...

Good luck!

Insanely proud and looking forward to seeing the movie finally out in Jordan!

6:05 AM  
Blogger Sushi said...

Great stuff. I have to say, hearing the applause when they mentioned the movie in the best Arabic film nominations, I really thought you guys were going for the gold!

The film is really well made -- and the storyline has been a welcomed surprise. But, I think more than anything else, while I watched it, I had 'your' joruney at the back of mind as well. Just to see a dreamer reach his goals is equally inspiring as the film itself.

Congrats, and all the best for the future.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Thank you all for all your faith and support. I have to say that I was surprised that our film was snubbed for the best picture and screenplay awards, but then again I wasn't terribly surprised considering the political subject-matter of the two Lebanese films that took the awards. While I haven't seen either film, almost everyone I met said they were surprised by the results. At the end of the day, most of the jurors were Arabic, and our film is more universal and non-political, which makes it less favorable for such a jury. But I'm happy we got the recognition for Nadim's beautiful performance and for the buzz that circulated.

11:07 AM  
Blogger manal yusuf said...

thats great news, i add my applause too, i thought they were going to play the movie here in jordan sometime around eid, darn to that. looking forword for it :)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

Great news, Amin. Waiting to see how it will be received in Sundance. Keep us posted.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Lubna said...

be2ash3er il badan!

yala, we need to see it too.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous SB said...

as u said it is just the beginning.
congratulations & good luck in jordn!

12:38 AM  

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