The Emirati coming-of-age drama Sea Shadow will be released today on DVD. Anna Seaman talks to the film’s producer about its success
It’s been two years since Sea Shadow premiered at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, but it’s still being invited to show at film festivals all over the world, with 22 so far under its belt.
Rami Yasin, the film’s producer, says that its success is all down to the vision and the voice of the director Nawaf Al Janahi and the scriptwriter Mohammed Hassan Ahmed.
“It is testament to the artistic merit of the film,” he says. “Sea Shadow is a truly Emirati story in terms of the setting and the plot, but the story is really universal; everyone can relate to the emotional story of the hero.”
The film follows a teenage boy, Mansoor, played by Omar Al Mulla, who falls for the girl next door, Kaltham, played by Neven Madi. Mansoor finds it difficult to express his feelings and is constrained by society as well as his personal insecurities.
Yasin says that when he first read the story he saw a “beautiful nugget of a tale”.
He adds that with its DVD release, it will reach a swath of new viewers.
“It is an exciting time for us because one of the problems that Emirati film suffers from is lack of support from the movie theatres here. They are reluctant to support independent Arabic cinema because they don’t feel it pulls in audiences.
“Even though Sea Shadow was lucky enough to get three weeks in the local cinemas, a lot of people only started hearing about it after that, when it was touring the festivals. Now they have a chance to see it and we think also that many expats will buy a copy as a memory of the time they spent here.”
• Sea Shadow is available at local outlets. Image Nation is giving away copies of the DVD to the first five readers of The National who text the words “Sea Shadow” and their name to 3660 (both Etisalat and du)