Dubai: Ashraf Ghori grew up in Dubai, opened his first company here and now has released the UAE's first computer generated sci-fi short film, Levity: Xero Error Minus 1, a seven-minute futuristic animation.
As creator, director, producer and writer of the movie, Ghori admits having had his hands full during the four-month production of the film. "I conceptualised Xero Error more than two years ago. But at that point, it was just an idea in my head. By late last year, the idea turned into a reality and my days and nights were consumed in completing this short film in time for the Gulf Film Festival. My next showing was at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation."
The short film is at present running daily at the Market Place at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
With feedback so positive, it is natural for Ghori to take his pet project to the next level. As a result, the 37-year-old is currently in talks to release Xero Error as a game, to be followed by a full-length feature film.
"I don't expect miracles to happen overnight, but in my own time, I know I'll get there," he says. "Growing up in Dubai, I always dreamt of being involved in the creative media. When I went to the US for university, I created my independent comic book series called Tempest Comics, a four-issue series."
Ghori's creative streak didn't end there. "I knew there was more for me. When the concept of Xero Error was created, I knew that one day it will be the means to fulfilling my dreams."
Ghori is currently looking for investors and producers to finance his project. "Creating the short film involved a budget of approximately $40,000 (Dh146,800). A full-length movie would run into millions. But I'm determined to make this happen."
The filmmaker admits that his ultimate goal is Hollywood. "I want to take Dubai to the forefront of international cinema. This seven-minute short film is only the introduction to the series of storylines I'm planning to develop. Xero Error is an intellectual property, with its own storyline. Because of the limited resources on hand, we made one segment of that storyline into a film. The short is an intro to the Xero Error universe I'm creating," he says.