Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sundance Excitement

I suppose now is as good a time as any to look back and reflect on the almost five years that I've been in Los Angeles leading up to this very exciting week with the Sundance Film Festival coming up in two days.

You know how some people look back and say "If I knew how much work this whole thing was going to take to get here, I don't know if I would've been able to pursue it"? Well, I don't think I can relate to that, primarily because as much work as this whole intense five-year period has been, I really enjoyed every moment of it. And I think that's the key in any career-path one picks for themselves. With all the ups and downs, it's all about how you deal with the journey. I remember when I submitted my first screenplay to the Sundance Writers lab back in 2004, it made the semi-finals short list but never made the final selection. I said that's okay. I'll just hope for the next opportunity and keep making short films in the meantime. And so a few months later I made it into AFI. So you never know where the opportunity shows up, but you have to keep taking shots and creating the possibility for another opportunity. And when it comes, you jump on it. I milked my education at AFI. I was always thinking about Captain Abu Raed while learning new methods and techniques. Especially the abstract things like extracting real performances from people and finding emotional truths in fictional situations. I would think about that stuff while rewriting the script. Using physical action to create subtext. That's the beauty of film.

So here we are now. I can't wait for the first screening. Our premier has been sold out for a while now, but we have a special event double-screening for 1600 high school kids the morning before the premier. I am so looking forward to that experience. At this stage, I've seen the film at least 300 times in one form or another (not to mention the two trillion times while cutting each scene), maybe more. And I still am moved by it. Yet now I watch the film for the audience's reaction more than anything else.

I've learned so much from life over the past five years. From the people I've met and worked with. If I die tomorrow, from a selfish standpoint, I would feel okay with myself because I've left a stamp in time with Captain Abu Raed. Now my focus is on taking things to the next level and making an even more challenging film. More complex, more difficult, and just as good.

Until then... see you at the movies!


Anonymous laith said...

You're in the shower right now ...

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Humeid said...

Looking forward to the film with great anticipation. But PLEASE PLEASE put up a trailer with subtitles before people start googling it en masse after Sundance.

Best of luck

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck in Sundance Amin... and hello from Columbus! I was just at a meeting with a new client and their phone people were sitting across from me. We had our meeting and I said to the Sales Engineer that I hope that we have more meetings as good as this one. I mentioned that I use to work with 'Amin' from their company and this guy opened up with a huge story about you and how you are in the paper today. What a small world. JP was the guy. Anyway... I wish only the best for you! Good luck - Eric Steffy

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Maha S said...

Good Luck at Sundance :D

10:53 PM  
Anonymous juliana said...


Wishing you all the very best of luck in Sundance. Wishing I could be there but am across the pond at the moment. From one believer to another, may this film move many many people. I know it will.

Love, Juliana

1:42 AM  
Blogger Hareega said...

Congratulations Amin for the great achievement

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job winning the Audience Award! Awesome showings! Looking forward to seeing the film throughout the USA! Great work by GigaPix Studios as well in this venture! Congrats!

6:08 PM  
Blogger manal yusuf said...

i heard the great news congratulation :)

cant wait to here yr reviews and reflections on the whole experience

10:45 PM  
Blogger Oleander said...

Congratulations on the win Amin!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was at the Sunday afternoon showing at the Egyptian at Sundace. The movie was amazing.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I too was at the award showing on Sunday. I was moved in every emotional direction. Congratulations on a very deserved win! Best, Laura

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great preview and comments on TV, Amin. Will you please please let me know when and where the first DVD will be released? I was in Amman a few times while living in Damascus, where my late wife Samia came from: what a lovely place. My children Karim and Laila as well as myself are very much looking forward to see this film.
Thanks and mabruk,
Bodo von Alvensleben
via Glorietta 7
6987 Caslano
Switzerland email bodovon@bluewin.ch

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great preview and interview on TV Amin! I was a few times in Amman while living in Damascus where my late wife Samia came from. What a lovely place! My children Karim and Laila as well as myself will love to see this film. Please please let me know when and where it will be available on DVD. Thanks a lot and congratulations,
Bodo von Alvensleben
6987 Caslano Switzerland
email bodovon@bluewin.ch

6:37 AM  

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