News Column

A zombie invasion

November 15, 2013


Nov. 15--A LOCALLY filmed and produced comedy-horror will hit the big screen next week.

Dead Sands tells the story of a group of friends struggling to come to terms with a zombie invasion.

It follows a handful of survivors in the wake of a zombie apocalypse in Bahrain.

Writer and associate producer Ahmed Al Zayani said the movie was inspired by horror films of the 80s and 90s, and includes as much Bahraini landscape and culture as possible.

It will be screened at Bahrain City Centre from November 21 to 23, and will then be transferred to Saar Cinema, where it will continue to show from November 24 to 26.

"I'm excited about people's reactions," said director Ameera Al Qaed.

"It's a different idea, so I'm hoping they'll accept it.

"People are not used to locally-made horror movies."

She explained that the movie will feature an array of languages often heard in Bahrain.

"We have people speaking English, Arabic, some Persian and Urdu," she said.

"But 90 per cent of the movie is in Arabic or English.

"The film will also be subtitled -- all Arabic-speaking parts are subtitled in English, and all the English parts subtitled in Arabic."

Ms Al Qaed said shooting the approximately 90-minute film was often challenging.

"We all have other things to do, so it was a challenge to get everyone together for filming, but we worked it out," she said.

"Once we go on set, sometimes the script didn't feel natural, so we changed it on the spot.

"We also couldn't afford professional lighting.

"So we designed and built custom lights that gave us great results."

She also spoke of the difficulties in getting permission to film at different landmarks across the country.

"We have loads of Bahraini talent that shouldn't go unnoticed," she said.

"Nothing is impossible.

"Compared to big Hollywood productions, we managed to produce a feature length film on a micro-budget."

One of the lead actors, Abdulwahab Basil, said filming long hours was a great experience.

"Shooting could go from 5pm to midnight some days," he said.

"It was difficult juggling filming and working at the same time.

"I've done live actions before, but for YouTube.

"They would take a couple of hours to film and edit usually, but Dead Sands is a feature film and takes a lot more time."

Dead Sands is an NYIT and FANtasy Features production, and is sponsored by Ahmed Zayani and Sons and Cineco.

All proceeds made from the film will be donated to the Red Crescent Society. For information and updates, visit the movie's twitter account @DeadSandsFilm.


(c)2013 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)

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