“I am a simple person who wishes to help change the world to a better place. It is a big dream, bigger than me and everyone else but why not give it a shot? I am Syrian and lived in Abu Dhabi since 1991, so I can say I carry a Syrian soul and a UAE heart! I write short stories in Arabic and some articles as well which I post on my website”

“I have been in the business side of filmmaking for around seven years. I started with The Circle a global business conference on filmmaking, which is held annually in Abu Dhabi. I then worked as the Deputy Director of Abu Dhabi Film Commission and after that as the Project Director of Bidaya Media, the new Sesame Street branch in the UAE and the Gulf region.

“During that entire period I have assisted numerous international productions to film in Abu Dhabi and have worked very closely with Emirati film makers, helping to promote their films and talent internationally and to support them at film festivals around the world.

I have helped manage short film projects and have worked on six of them as Associate Producer. I have enjoyed working with filmmakers from the UAE and the region and also connected with different Film Commissioners and Film Markets around the world. I have also worked with the BBC on Wild Arabia. This was their first major series to focus on the Arabian region and has now been broadcast all around the world. I am very proud of the productions I have helped to film in Abu Dhabi that have now been seen by audiences around the world, highlighting the fantastic beauty, culture and the people of the UAE.

A Letter is an Arabic short film I’ve been working on. It is about a kidnapped man during war and shows the different feelings he passes through while he is locked up somewhere. The film talks about the letters that are written during war: some reach loved ones and some don’t. I wanted the world to see that in war, all people want is peace; to see the end of the war!

“I wrote the story as one of my short stories and I could immediately imagine it as a short film. I could not get it out of my head and I could clearly see the images I wanted to use to help tell this story in a film. So I spoke to the Executive Producer Roland Daou and the Producer David Shepheard and they both supported the idea of turning it into a short film.

“Through films you can tell a story, give a human solution to issues we face in life in the most peaceful way. You hope that people will see your idea for making the world a better place, and that your ideas are contagious. What is better than films and books for doing that? If hundreds watch your movie and let’s say half of them believe in your message and want to support your idea for positive change… that’s a great achievement!

“The story of war and of people getting kidnapped is happening everywhere in the region and in the world. I have seen those who were kidnapped and made it out alive, the pain they suffered, and how all they wanted was to see their loved ones again. A Letter talks about a real man in a real place somewhere in the world we live in. What was his ‘letter,’ and what happens to him and the letter? I will leave that for viewers to discover when they watch the film.

“I was lucky enough to get the support of many friends and family members and most importantly all the film crew of Media Mania Productions in Abu Dhabi who volunteered for this film. The film is now ready and I have started the submissions to film festivals around the world. We are now working on a long list of festivals around the world, and my dream is that it gets nominated for the Oscar! Once we are done with the festival circuit I will make it available on the internet and my website as well.

“I want to thank all the people that supported this film; all the people that volunteered or who pledged on the Aflamnah crowd-funding website… or even talked about it. I hope viewers like the film, I personally love it!”

By: Lama Younes

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