The Smovies Season One Winners: 1st place – Faisal Hashmi ‘A Spartan Surprise’

The winner for Season One of the Smovies has been crowned! The kick off challenge, themed “Please Don’t Steal My Show” and pitched by VOX Cinemas, culminated with the announcement of the first, second and third place winners. BrandMoxie who lead the initiative with the host VOX Cinemas held a special award ceremony event at Yas Mall inviting competitors, friends and fans, judges and members of the film community. First place winner and Director of “A Spartan Surprise” Faisal Hashmi shared his experience with Tempo…

1st Place - Group Picture
First Place Winners: “A Spartan Surprise” team with the Producers and the Jury.


  • How did you first learn about “The Smovies”? Was it through a website? Through Social Media? Through Tempo? Through Friends? Etc.

I learned about Smovies through a friend of mine who directed me to the website and then I happened to also see it on Facebook, so it was a combination of both.

1st Place - Behind the Scenes Faisal 4

  • How did you come up with the concept and title of your Smovie?

For my Smovie, I began to think of the thing that annoys me the most when I go to the movies and the answer was clear – mobile phones ringing and people picking up that call mid-movie with no regard to others. But I wanted to portray that in a unique way that really showcases how a movie gets ruined. So I decided that there’s no better way to show a movie getting ruined than actually shooting a mock movie scene that has the characters being disturbed in some way mirroring what’s happening in the cinema. As a fan of movies like 300, I thought the best course of action would be to mirror a climactic battle scene getting interrupted. The title of the film A Spartan Surprise came directly from the idea of a Spartan battle itself and was just funny wordplay to what the movie is about.

  • How long have you been doing short films? How many other film competitions have you entered? Have you won in any of those or was this your first time?

I’ve been making short films since 2009 and have been steadily doing that as a passion every year since. I’ve entered a lot of different film competitions both locally and abroad and I’ve been grateful that I’ve won quite a few of them for the short films that I’ve done and it’s always a wonderful feeling.

1st Place - Faisal Hashmi (2)

  • How did it feel when your name was called up on stage as you were hailed amongst the winners of the first season of The Smovies?

It was a great feeling and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that because I was among a group of entries that were all well done and lots of unique ideas were present in the entries that I saw so it was great to be acknowledged in such a strong environment.

1st Place - Behind the Scenes Faisal 5

  • How did the people around you (family, friends, and audience) react when they heard that you won?

The audience was really supportive during and after the event and that was great to see. I had come to the event with a bunch of friends including some of the crew and they were ecstatic to see us win. I immediately called my family about it later and they were overjoyed too. They’ve always been very supportive.

1st Place Screenshot - A Spartan Surprise
Screengrab from “A Spartan Surprise”. Watch it by clicking the image!
  • How can people get in touch with you? Any websites and/or social media platforms you’re into?

Absolutely. You can find me on almost every platform out there. On Facebook at or Twitter at To watch my previous films, you can go to my Youtube page or the website


  • Finally, what’s your message to those who also want to make a Smovie out there?

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Find a really good hook that you want to focus on then find the most creative and funny way to execute it rather than the obvious way. The duration limit is short so being concise is key!

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