FEATURED FILMMAKER! June 8 – HUMAN-film continues its ‘FEATURED FILMMAKER’ series, where we will be profiling filmmakers in our community – and show the remarkable range and depth of filmmaking talent and passion in the region!
We are proud to introduce you to Afsheen Ali, a talented filmmaker based out of the UAE who has also won over Brands with her excellent creative ideas through the HUMAN-Film competitions!
NAME – Afsheen Sajid Ali
AGE – 39
CITY I LIVE IN – Dubai
MY FILM-MAKING JOURNEY BEGAN – 13 years ago
MY FAVORITE MOVIE AS A KID – “A Little Peace and Quiet”- It was one of the episodes of “The Twilight Zone series.” I was so inspired and intrigued by the idea of having the power to stop time using a stopwatch. This film left on my mind for so long especially the shot where the missiles hanging suspended over the city, I used to imagine myself there as a character thinking about my decision in that case.
MY FAVORITE MOVIE TODAY – “Cast Away” and “What Dreams May Come”- both are known for their exceptional narratives and for the remarkable performance of the protagonist, played by Tom Hanks in the “Cast Away” and Robin Williams in “What Dreams May Come.”
MY OWN MOVIE / WORK I AM MOST PROUD OF – “Shamans of Pakistan”- one of the good documentary films from my portfolio but the one I would be really proud of is yet to come!
WHERE DO I SEE MYSELF 3 YEARS FROM NOW – 3 years does not bring any drastic transformation in most documentary filmmakers lives! I think I will be working on my distribution strategies for my currently under production documentary “I’m English”, and might be preparing few new pitches and would seriously be working on my funding strategies including crowdfunding.
BEING A FILMMAKER IN DUBAI IS – Tough but exciting at the same time. I am very hopeful things will get better and our growing fraternity is a positive sign. I wish in future, the Human-Film would take some initiative where we can all open to do joint ventures or we can shout out for help on a forum if we need any support in production, either sound designer or a gaffer or a director for our non-commercial ventures. Through this filmmakers’ alliance, we all can grow further and can also provide learning opportunities for fresh filmmakers.
WHY WOULD FILMMAKERS BE INTERESTED IN CREATING FOR COMMERCIAL USE? – As a documentary filmmaker, it’s hard to survive without making commercial use of our filmmaking skills as almost all documentaries have zero or very less financial turnout. Here, I really admire forums such as Human-Film which provides the platform for talent crowdsourcing in this region as they clearly understand the commercial aspects and needs of a filmmaker’s life.
WHATS THE BEST INCENTIVE FOR A TALENTED YOUNG FILMMAKER? – Life is easy, happy, and beaming with energy for all the young talented filmmakers. We have film schools online, and free master classes talking about all aspects of filmmaking techniques. With a filmmaking passion and a good story in the mind, one can easily take help and proceed with these online tools as well as with easily available gears. It is not necessary to prolong your filmmaking dreams in waiting for huge funding and forums.
ANY CRAZY FILM TRIVIA YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? This question reminds me of Doug Block’s documentary “112 Weddings.” Block, a documentarian who took commercial benefit of his skills as a wedding videographer for decades. With a strong wedding video portfolio, mostly shot in “cinema verite” style, he decided to make a documentary about marriage. He went back to his client couples to know whether their expectations about marriage have lived up to reality but found out that Happily Ever After is not the fact for almost all of them.
WHICH MOVIE DO YOU RECOMMEND AS MUST WATCH THIS SUMMER?! I am a great fan of Christopher Nolan’s films. His unpredictable storytelling techniques lift his every single movie in an exclusive paradigm, either talk about inception, memento, insomnia, interstellar or any other. Now, this summer he is releasing “Dunkirk”, so I would love to recommend that.