Experimental Filmmaking And The UAE Market

Mar 21,2019

The recently held Sharjah Film Platform screened a number of films from upcoming talent in the UAE. The platform served as a gateway to lots of undiscovered talent the region has to offer and a particularly unique offering was presented by Meera Al Qassimi. Her film Nanaira is a distinctively innovative film, that explores the avant-garde narrative of storytelling.

Experimental films may not be for everyone, primarily because we are accustomed to a particular method of narrative and delivery. Nanaira is a bold experimental vision shot from a first-person perspective, the film also features multiple languages leaving it open to interpretation. But perhaps the most striking aspect of the film is that it wonderfully weaves in different scenarios with music that is very distinctive and diverse.

We spoke to Meera Al Qassimi to learn more about Nanaira, experimental films and the UAE’s film movement.

What got you into filmmaking?

When I was younger I thought of a million things that I wanted to do and I switched between different majors including fashion, business and perfume making.

It was during that period that I started to feel depressed in life and I started recording vlogs, which I used to record and edit myself. While rewatching these vlogs I started seeing things from a different perspective and realized its not all that bad. This was my initial introduction to film making.

Can you tell us a little about your film Nanaira?

Nanaira depicts a woman’s emotions rising as she stands watching from the outside in. For this film We collaborated and shot with people from different countries. It is an experimental film of a person’s journey, discovering the four elements within one’s self.

When the film was screened in London it also included an art installation that used footage and sound from the film and turned it into an immersive experience.


What are your thoughts on the UAE film industry and market?

I think here people are used to creating films in a certain way. When I look at dramas and films that tackle social issues, they are told in a way that leaves me laughing and it’s not supposed to be that way. I think new ways of storytelling need to be introduced.

Image Courtesy: Supplied