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Girl & It is the first film in Mohammad Fikree’s animated sci-fi trilogy

In Girl & It, the filmmaker Mohammad Fikree created a fictional language for his characters to speak

A scene from Mohammad Fikree's animation Girl & It. Courtesy DIFF
A scene from Mohammad Fikree's animation Girl & It. Courtesy DIFF

Mohammad Fikree has made his first animated film, Girl & It, as part of a sci-fi trilogy. “I grew up to love animation. I started doing experimental projects back in 2003, when I discovered Macromedia Flash, and I got addicted to the software,” he says.

Girl & It is about a prince who’s on a quest for a trophy, to prove himself worthy of the throne. He stumbles across a beast and a mysterious girl in the woods and faces a dilemma: should he kill the beast to get the throne, or help the girl?

In 2009, Fikree made a version of the current 40-minute film, which was inspired by The Adventures of Prince Achmed, a 1926 German film. Fikree explains: “I loved its story, so I wanted to make something similar.”

Fikree created a fictional language for his characters to speak, which he says sounds similar to Malay, a language Fikree knows well as he himself is half-Malayan. Arabic and English subtitles are used to explain what’s being said.

“It takes place in a fictional world, so it makes sense to have a fictional language,” says Fikree. “It’s something not a lot of filmmakers have done before.”

Fikree graduated earlier this year from the SAE Institute in Dubai, where he studied animation. His previous film, Children, won the special Jury Prize at DIFF two years ago.

Fikree is working on the second part of his trilogy, Atlartor, which he says may be out in 2016, and another short film.

artslife@thenational.ae

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