Starring Mahmood AlMahmood, M.A. Lazurdi, and Marine George “A Journey to From Love” is a story about Ashiq’s surreal adventure into his inner being from the loss of his love and his journey to acceptance. Representing Qatar, the film is competing at the 2018 International Filmmaker Festival of New York. The short film is directed and written by Abdullah Al-mulla, produced by Nadine Toukan. =
Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Filmmaker Abdullah Al-mulla
NY Elite: Congratulations on being an official selection at the prestigious International Filmmaker Festival of New York. What are your thoughts about being accepted at IFFNY 2018 film festival and having your film screen in New York City?
Abdullah Al-mulla: It is a great honor to have my film screened at IFFNY. My first short “Old Airport Road” was also shown in NYC at the Chelsea Film Festival in 2014. This further shows the hard work of the great passionate team behind this short paid off! I am privileged to be part of that team.
NY Elite: Out of the 500 submissions world-wide, your film was selected as the top 40 for IFFNY. What does this mean for you in terms of representing your country/city at this international film competition?
Abdullah Al-mulla: It means the film has legs! And it’s going places. All I care is that the audience feel engaged with the film and that it leaves a good impression.
NY Elite: With what project are you partaking at IFFNY 2018? What is it about?
Abdullah Al-mulla: It is a surreal drama, called A Journey to from Love a 15 minute film about Ashiq’s surreal adventure into his inner being from the loss of his love and his journey to acceptance.
A journey into the mind of someone suffering from loss. Not knowing what to do when Hajir leaves him, Ashiq keeps all his feelings inside, allowing the pain to fester within his mind, body and soul. He goes through the five stages of grief – denial, anger, depression, bargaining and, finally, acceptance. At each stage, he delves deeper into his soul, until finally, within his heart of hearts, he finally sees reality as it truly is. His pain will be no more and he will be free, able to love again.
NY Elite: Who else is involved in the making of this project? Tell us a little bit more about the story and who is in it.
Abdullah Al-mulla: A great time was part of this project, cinematography was by Ghassan Nazmi who did an amazing job. Greg Johnson who is based in California composed the music. Denver Gomeceria was responsible for the great animation in the film. Of course the star of the film Mahmood AlMahmood was fantastic to work with. I met him during the audition process and he blew me away. There are of course so many more people who helped make this project come to life and I would spend quite a while talking about each one of them and their contribution.
NY Elite: What message do you want to convey with this project?
Abdullah Al-mulla: Hope, that life truly moves and that ‘with hardship comes ease.’
NY Elite: The Red Carpet Opening Ceremony and the Awards Gala will take place at the renowned Kaufman Astoria Studios of New York. What do you want the audience at IFFNY to take away from this film?
Abdullah Al-mulla: Unfortunately due to my studies, and because of how long it would take to acquire a visa, I won’t be attending. I want the audience to enjoy this film for it’s aesthetic value, for the sounds and music they hear and the content that I hope will if anything, shake their hearts a little bit.
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite films/projects you have been involved in?
Abdullah Al-mulla: I had a joy working with Abdurrahman Sissako (dir. Timbuktu) who came to Qatar for a historical film project. I have been involved in making a documentary about life in Qatar which I directed segments of, which was a joy to be part of. Lastly, directing my latest short that’s in the festival has been by far the most tiresome, joyful, difficult, painful, exciting, proudest project I had the pleasure of being part of.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Abdullah Al-mulla: Other than filmmaking, I love writing and recently started music lessons learning the persian Setar.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Abdullah Al-mulla: Never give up, it’s not meant to be easy. Get ready to engage your mind, body and spirit! And have a purpose in what you make. Nobody has to know what it is except you.
NY Elite: What’s next for you?
Abdullah Al-mulla: I am currently working on a script for a smartphone guerrilla style film about addiction and recovery.