x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mariam Al Nuaimi on the making of Sunset

Mariam Al Nuaimi recalls how remembering stories with a friend turned into Sunset – a 20-minute movie that made the cut at the Gulf Film Festival

Sara played by Alaa Shaker in a scene from Mariam Al Nuaimi's Sunset. Courtesy Mariam Al Nuaimi
Sara played by Alaa Shaker in a scene from Mariam Al Nuaimi's Sunset. Courtesy Mariam Al Nuaimi

Sunset came to me while I was talking to my friend about all the stories our grandparents told us when we were very young.

The 20-minute movie, which debuted at the Gulf Film Festival (GFF) yesterday and screens again tomorrow, is about three young men: Khalifa (Suqrat bin Bisher), Salem (Omar Al Ayoobi) and Ali (Ibrahim Ghanim), who get lost in the desert.

When their car breaks down in front of a haunted farm, an old man, Bu Khaled (Mansoor Al Feeli) tries to scare them away but a pretty young woman, Sara (Alaa Shaker), appears and manages to lure Khalifa and Salem inside.

The old man warns them that they must leave before sunset or they will be doomed, but the two friends pay no attention and leave Ali behind to try to fix the car.

Three other actors in the movie are Steve Terney who played Mr Gray, the farmer, Humaid and Mishari Al Nuaimi.

Even though I worked with a small crew of just six, it was a great group. I learnt a huge lesson after production wrapped as I attempted to edit a film that I had directed: it’s very hard to discard a lot of what was filmed when you feel the movie was your own baby. However, by February I was finally happy with what I had, just in time to submit it to GFF. The wait after the submission was probably the hardest, for it wasn’t just me who wished to show Sunset off – the actors and crew members also wanted to show the world what we had created. When I finally got the email that Sunset was accepted in GFF, I couldn’t help but jump and scream with joy.

For a filmmaker, there isn’t anything better then having people watch your movie.

• Mariam Al Nuaimi’s Sunset screens tomorrow at 2pm in Grand Cinema 9, Festival City, as part of Gulf Shorts 2



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