Classifieds powered by Gulf News

Out in the rain: Mustafa Abbas

Corruption and murder reigns supreme in Mustafa Abbas's new movie.


Corruption and murder reigns supreme in Mustafa Abbas's new movie.

He may have had a film screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year but for Mustafa Abbas there is nothing like showing your latest creation to an audience at home.

"It's a wonderful feeling to see the reaction of the people who live and work in the same environment as you because they can see the film in perspective," he said after the second screening of his latest film, Rain.

"The Alley was shown at Cannes, but people abroad don't know or feel the pressures or challenges we face here.

"Raising funds is the biggest issue. Let's face it, it's an expensive business, and people want to invest in something which guarantees income.

"However, you can have money and resources in the world but to make a good film we also need a good number of talented filmmakers."

The story of a corrupt Dubai-based organisation, Rain follows company lieutenant Timothy Raynard who is sent to pick up a package from a girl who is mysteriously killed as he approaches. Raynard then becomes a target himself, as it soon transpires the girl is the boss's daughter.

But he later discovers the person was actually an assassin sent to kill him during his pick-up and now he has to find out why.

"The biggest challenge for me creatively while making this film was the mood I should set it in. My other films, 100 Miles, and The Alley, came to me naturally because I decided to have the graphic novel-feel with the witty dialogue and shadowy lighting.

"But with Rain I took a different direction with more of a reality feel to it."

Making films means making memories according to Abbas, who recalls his time on the set.

"The funniest moment for me while shooting was when the boss, played by Bryan MacKenzie, an awesome theatre actor, is asked, 'How do you know where it is?' And the right answer was 'That's not important.' But he forgot his line and jokingly said, 'Because I put it there,' It took me a good couple of minutes to stop laughing."

Rain stars David Chant, Bryan MacKenzie, Zoë Richards, and Monyca Giles.

"Finding actors in Dubai is not an easy task, but even harder is picking actors who 'feel' the part they are playing.

"They say 'don't cast actors, cast relationships.' I pick actors I can be myself with, people I can communicate easily with and vice versa."

Starting out at 12 years old, Abbas has already experienced a fair amount when it comes to the world of film. But happy to share, he said if he had to tell a first-time filmmaker anything it would be to listen.

"Listening is the key to success. Listen to all kinds of criticism, even from people who don't particularly understand your style, or people have no idea what they're talking about. Because as they say, success is a journey and not a destination."