Muscat: Oman’s diverse natural beauty contributes to it being a destination for film production and cultural tourism, says Sudha Sha, a film-maker in Oman.
Sudha is planning to shoot a film to promote the natural beauty of Oman for international audiences.
“I know this place, the same as my native home,” Sudha told Times of Oman. Sudha is an Indian expat who has lived in Oman for the last 18 years.
“The cultural and political history of this land is quite interesting, and the landscape of Oman is encouraging to any film-maker to find inspiration,” she added.
“It is my privilege to use this opportunity to promote the unique characteristics of the Sultanate through my film,” Sudha continued.
According to Sudha, movies are life that has been retold through a media.
“We have to tell our stories, the life around us, and movies are a universal language to tell these stories to the world,” Sudha said.
“Being a film-maker from Oman, I am trying to explore the possibilities of indigenous films to tell stories from the region to international audiences,” she explained.
Speaking about the themes of the movie, Sudha said, “The life and culture of Arabic regions are mostly interpreted through western movies, and they portray it according to their conception and imagination. Those movies are less artistically motivated.”
“Now, the time demands for true and realistic versions to be told by them. So, this film attempts to communicate the original feelings and real lives of a very genuine land and people,” she asserted.
While describing her movie, she said, “This is the first anthology from the region, and each story in the movie is from different countries and told in different languages.”
“The main theme of the movie is the R factor, such as race and religion, the factor that makes one human different from the other. We are making four short films and two of them are from the Sultanate,” she added.
According to Sudha, the directors and actors in these two films will be Omanis.
“Maitham Al Musawi and Abdulla Khamis are the directors of the Omani films, who are renowned film makers from Oman. Maitham received three awards at this year’s Muscat International Film Festival and Abdulla Khamis was named best director at the 2012 festival,” she said.
“Technicians include famous masters from India and selected crews from Oman. All the actors are from Oman, from a 90 year-old man to a 5 year-old child,” she noted.
Shooting locations for these movies are from different parts of Oman, and these localesare also blended into characters for the movies.
“The old village of Al Hamra Al Abrein to Cornish, and many other locations, are included in our movie,” Sudha said.
“The locations are not mere backdrops to scenes, but play a characteristic role in the film. One story is about a film maker who visits Oman to make a documentary about the beautiful mountains of Oman,” she explained.
“We plan to start shootingthis month and to complete the filming before June. We also plan the marketing of it during a premier release at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and the local release during Eid,” she continued.
According to Sudha, they also are targeting film festivals and film markets to reach international audiences and to be seen on TV channels throughoutthe 36 Arabic speaking countries.
Sudha is a script writer and movie director and is also involved in the Oman Film Society as international film coordinator.
She also was in charge of marketing and communications for the Muscat International Film Festival in 2010 and 2012.
“I have done many projects for Oman TV as an executive producer, and have been credited as creative director of Aseel, the second Omani feature film, and one more feature length film is in production now,” she said.
Speaking about her future projects, Sudha Sha said, “I am planning a 3D feature length Omani film for next year and I am working on an Indo Oman project, “The Imaam”, which is my dream concept.”