Monday, January 28, 2008

A State of Surreal Reality






Ok, where do I start? I don't know how to describe the feeling, but I will try to recap it with some words that are supposed to somehow summarize the penultimate highest moment of my life.

Like many other filmmakers, my whole life I've dreamed of making movies. Why? I'm not sure I can nail it down with words, but I can tell you that the whole creative process is very fulfilling. It's very satisfying to imagine drama and comedy... to write it on a piece of paper, then turn it into something that you can give life to with creative actors, film it with a cinematographer, cut it to tell a sequential story conveying emotions married to powerful music. To do this for a living? What more could I ever wish for?

Finally screening Captain Abu Raed, my first feature film, at the Sundance Film Festival was the most thrilling experience of my life. Every one of our screenings was packed and I was so thrilled to sit in the back and watch these audiences laugh and cry in all the right places and then come and tell me that they've fallen in love with my film and its characters. Something I've poured blood and sweat into over the last two and a half years with a group of incredible collaborators. I had several people come up and tell me they now have two favorite movies, Cinema Paradiso and Captain Abu Raed. It's a surreal experience. We've succeeded in making a movie that transcends cultures.

And then to have AN EXCELLENT REVIEW from Stephen Farber, the toughest critic at the Hollywood Reporter. Just when you think it's great... it gets better...

We got standing ovations at every screening, and almost every person stayed for the Q&A. One of the festival runners said this is the only movie to get a standing ovation at Sundance this year.

And to top everything off, finally at the awards show, they called it:

WINNER of the WORLD CINEMA AUDIENCE AWARD: Captain Abu Raed.
Scroll to 8:30 in this video of my acceptance speech.

And finally, I am happy to inform you that we are in serious discussions for theatrical distribution across the United States and the rest of the world. It will be just a matter of time before Captain Abu Raed is playing in a theater near you. Now it just doesn't get any better than that. And that my friends brings my childhood dream full circle.

Thank you Sundance. Thank you Paper & Pen Films. Thank you David Pritchard and everyone at Gigapix. And thank you everyone who has been part of my journey to get here.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Nic said...

YOU DID IT!!! But we all knew that you would. :-) It's just the beginning.......

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Burky said...

Congrats Amin! May good things continue to happen for you!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Burky said...

Congrats Amin! May you have continued success!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous kinzi said...

Bravo! Yes, we knew you would.

The Amin childhood dream is full circle. Just wait to see how the Amin adult dream is fulfilled.

Can't wait...

12:11 PM  
Blogger manal yusuf said...

accomplishing a childhood dream, is amazing and so encouraging, :)waiting for my dreams to come true

always keep it flowing and keep us recharged

cant wait for it to play here in jordan

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all i have to say is wow im so glad to see a jordanian film maker that lives in the US go back to jordadn and make his first film.. all i have to say im proud

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Amin,

Congratulations!! Your passion and dedication to your dreams is inspiring and we're proud of you. This must mean that our wedding video is worth a lot of money!

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amin,

Well done on the Sundance success, I am delighted for you. Your movie was one of my festival highlights. You might remember me, I approached you after the screening and passed you my card from the Galway Film Fleadh. I wanted to invite your film to our festival (8th - 13th of July).

Much like in your country, it is hard for Irish film makers to examine themes other than questions of national identity - which made your movie so refreshing.

Anyway, would you mind emailing me at felim@galwayfilmfleadh.com, and letting me know your thoughts?

(for some reason your email that Sundance gave me doesn't work)

BEst,

Felim

7:01 AM  
Blogger Paul C said...

Came here via Phaedra Dahdaleh (via David Gildeh) - the trailer looks great! Look forward to seeing it and congratulations on not only making a film (which is hard enough in itself) but making a really good film...

7:25 AM  
Blogger asoom said...

"It will be just a matter of time before Captain Abu Raed is playing in a theater near you."

Looking forward to it!

9:11 AM  

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