News Column

Bahrain film deal signed

July 11, 2013


July 11--A DEAL has been signed to develop a Bahraini feature film called The Sleeping Tree.

The movie revolves around a family profoundly affected by illness, but also highlights Bahrain's cultural identity.

Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab has now signed a production agreement for the film, which has been written by Fareed Ramadan and will be directed by Mohammed Rashed Buali.

It was one of four movie concepts nominated for the annual IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award at the Dubai International Film Festival last year.

Mr Buali earlier told the GDN that despite interest from financiers in the UAE and Kuwait, he was hoping for sponsors from Bahrain.

"We had hoped for the Bahrain government to back the film," he said.

"It gives integrity and trust to the project.

"We're very grateful for the minister's support.

"Her backing will support the film in a big way, and put us in the right direction in the following months.

"This kind of governmental support will renew the belief and trust of supporters, backers and lovers of cinema in Bahrain."

The movie is now in the pre-production stage and filming is due to start later this year.

"The production process is long and there are still further contracts, agreements, co-ordinating schedules and casting," said Mr Buali.

"We're aiming for filming between October and November and hoping to take the film to festivals after that."

Ms Rajab described the film as a "powerful tale" and said the government's support reflected its commitment to helping local talent.

"Bahrain is rich with talent and our support stems from our strong belief in that talent and the importance of an international presence," she said.

"The Sleeping Tree is a powerful tale which everyone can relate to the world over and we are looking forward to its production and release."

Meanwhile, Mr Ramadan said he hoped the film would appeal to audiences around the world.

"Our aim is to produce a film which appeals to local, regional and international audiences alike, bringing Bahraini daily life and stories into people's hearts and imagination," he said.

"We are very pleased to partner with the IAA (Information Affairs Authority) and the minister's confidence in our endeavours is inspiring."

The film follows the story of Amina, who is bedridden as a result of severe cerebral palsy.

In the process of attempting to ensure she receives proper care, her mother gives up her career and her father isolates himself, listening to traditional Bahraini music as an escape.

However, when they have almost lost hope, a trip to the Tree of Life rebuilds the couple's faith in life.


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

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