Film is a creative medium that has been utilised for many years to convey messages, raise awareness, and make statements making it one of the most powerful tools one could ever master. With this in mind Akkasa Productions in Oman has started an initiative to educate the future generation of filmmakers and help them perfect their skills in an industry that has a tonne of potential in the Sultanate.
The workshop aims to impart a hands-on experience to young creative minds on how to make films in a professional environment, and to also raise awareness in the industry and encourage the educational element in filmmaking.
The workshop was established by Mohammed Al Harthy, the Chief Executive Officer of the production house, with Film Director Mustafa Al Lawati as one of the core instructors. The initiative targets children between the ages of 11 and 16, who have an eye for visuals and raw talent that can be transformed into something greater in the field.
With hopes to produce talented filmmakers in Oman, the team and their initiative has received wide acclaim in town, and the short films that were made by the participating children were screened at a local cinema. The children studied the art of making scenarios and storytelling, as well as handling equipment, shooting, scriptwriting, and video editing. “We had daily practice for more than six hours, and we focused on practical, hands-on techniques,” said Al Lawati.
The participants were also given opportunities to try a variety of production roles during the duration of making their films, and that helped them find what works best for their talent and passion. “We asked them about their ambitions, so we can better guide them in the right direction,” said Mustafa.
The children were impressive, with some having prior knowledge of technical and creative touches. They made three short films. For the first film, the lessons were focussed on scenario-making and costume design.
They were asked to design clothes according to scenes, which were inspired by Egyptian pharaohs. The children were also provided with the material and taught to create wearable pieces. For their second film, they handled scriptwriting.
As for the final film, they were asked to shoot a movie about the craft of making origami. The children were undeniably excited, with some bringing toys and items from home. One of the students brought a real bird for a scene that required a bird, which reflected the passion and determination of the children.
The Akkasa Productions house is on a mission to build the future generation of cinema in Oman, and with their workshop, that dream is a step closer to become a reality.—[email protected]