Female filmmaker leaves conservative Saudis running scared
The first Saudi woman to produce a horror movie said that she was scared by some of its scenes.
“My limited experience in such movies has made me feel scared during the filming of some of the scenes,” Ayat Al Eisa said. “I did not dare to make moves on my own and I faced numerous challenges in filming some scenes,” she said. “I had to go for many re-takes because some of the actors were replaced or because they objected to some of the scenes. In some cases, they objected to some of the roles,” she said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Sharq.
The producer said that she was pleased with her first experience as the filming of “Abu Maghwi” was almost completed.
“It was a positive step in my work as a producer,” she said.
The movie, according to the daily, lasts one hour and its theme is an old legend in a village in Saudi Arabia.
“It is an old story about some young men spending their day at a recreation area where Abu Maghwi, a jinn, scares them,” Ayat said.
The movie was filmed in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia while some scenes were taped at a home and at a hospital.
Maryan Salah, a child actress, told the Saudi daily that she was excited by the movie.
“Some of the exciting and horror scenes stimulated my interest in being part of the cast and in embodying a new character,” she said. “The fact that the producer was a woman helped me in my role. I am grateful to all those who helped me ease into a new character,” said the eight-year-old budding actress who had appeared in school shows.
Saudi Arabia does not have a rich tradition in the cinema and in movie-making although some of the dramas it helps produce, especially during Ramadan, are considered among the best and the most followed on Arab televisions.
By Habib Toumi