Muscat: A joint Indian-Omani film featuring actors and a director from the Sultanate is set to release in Muscat on Thursday evening.
The movie, called ‘Zayana’, which is Arabic for ‘goodness’, will premiere at Vox Cinemas on the evening of February 5, in the presence of many Omani government officials, and has been shot in both Oman and in India. The guest of honour is Dr. Abdul Monim bin Mansour Al Hassani, the Minister of Information.
The film will also be made available for the public to see from February 7 onward, and will be released in Vox Cinemas outlets across Oman. It is a dual-language Hindi and Arabic film, and will feature English subtitles.
The idea behind Zayana was conceptualised by Kiran Madhav, who went to school in Oman and was raised here. He served as one of the production consultants on the film, which is directed by Omani national Khalid Abdul Rahim Al Zadjali.
“It was the love for Oman that made us want to do a film like this,” said Kiran, who was one of the 80 people who worked on the film, which had a 50-50 Omani and Indian crew split. “A lot of TV shows and films come to Oman to do shoots and scenes, but there are not a lot of Omani film productions so we really wanted to do that.
“Zayana is a story about an Omani woman who travels to Kerala for medical treatment, but that is not the actual reason she goes to India,” added Kiran, while speaking to Times of Oman. “Her husband goes after her, and he finds out why she has gone to India, and that will be revealed in the movie. We have shot most of the movie in Kerala, and the rest of it was shot in Oman.”
Zayana, which is also the name of the titular female lead, will be played by Omani actress Noura Al Farsi, while her husband Adel is portrayed by Ali Al Amri. Riju Ram play Fadlullah, while supporting characters Kaani and Marhoun are played by M.R. Gopakumar and Talib Al Balushi.
The entire film took about a year to make, and Kiran is hoping that other collaborations between Omani and Indian actors and directors take place in the future.
“In India, we shot in a hill-station called Ponmudi, and we were allowed to film in places that other people are not normally allowed to visit,” he added. “We had to take special permission from the Kerala Government, and it took us some time to get that, but in the end, it was worth it. It was the love for Oman that inspired us to make this film, and we hope that this is the first of many.”
“This is the first time we were working with Omani actors and directors, and in many ways, we got to learn a lot about them and they got to learn a lot about us,” he said. “I think this is one of the best ways to exchange cultures and know about each other, and I hope we can have more such cooperation like this.”
The movie was made keeping in mind both the expat population which lives in Oman, as well as the local people, many of whom enjoy Bollywood movies that are regularly screened in theatres in the Sultanate.