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Saudi Cinema to Invade the Beirut International Film Festival in October - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi director Abdullah al-Eyaf (R) receives the best short film award for "Aayesh" from Emirati Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashed, chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, at Gulf Film Festival in Dubai. (AFP)

Saudi director Abdullah al-Eyaf (R) receives the best short film award for “Aayesh” from Emirati Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashed, chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, at Gulf Film Festival in Dubai. (AFP)

Dammam, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saudi film director Abdullah Al-Eyaf is preparing to participate in a number of film festivals during the coming months, with his latest film ‘Aayesh’(Alive). Al-Eyaf will attend the Beirut International Film Festival next October, and the International Muslim Film Festival, known as the ‘Golden Minbar’, held in Kazan, capital of the republic of Tatarstan, next December.

The film ‘Aayesh’ received the first prize for Best Short Film at the Gulf Film Festival, hosted by Dubai in mid-April 2010.

‘Aayesh’, starring Saudi actor Ibrahim al-Hasawi, tells the story of a security guard in a hospital. His life changes dramatically after a ten minute alteration in his daily schedule, which is enough to lead him to a different life.

It is the fourth film directed by Al-Eyaf, after the documentary ‘Cinema 500km’, and the films ‘A Frame’, and ‘Rain’.

‘Aayesh’ was filmed last December, and its events take place around the hospital’s morgue, and an incubator for newborns. Al-Eyaf described the difficulties experienced by the film crew regarding these places, as they faced complications in persuading hospitals to allow them to film at these sites. This contributed to the delayed production of the film for a whole year, despite having obtained the necessary permits. A young group of Saudi amateur film makers were involved the production, filming and acting of the scenes.

The film was the first cinematic experience for Saudi actor Ibrahim al-Hasawi, known for his television and theatre work. Al-Eyaf commented on al-Hasawi’s performance in ‘Aayesh’, saying “he was accurate in his portrayal the role, and won the admiration of the public. He became infected with the character of ‘Aayesh’ after one reading of the screenplay, and this stayed with him for a long time”.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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