MUSCAT: Dr Khalid Al Zadjali is trying his best to create a niche for Omani films in the world of movies. Al Zadjali, who has retired from the Ministry of Information as production advisor to the minister, now focuses full-time on movies, organising international film festivals and finalising his next project.
“My team is putting together the second virtual film festival, called Cinemana, which is a platform for movie-makers to showcase their creation to a jury of eminent film personalities and writers and win awards. The festival is scheduled for May end and we have received close to 70 films in different categories,” said Al Zadjali, who is also the vice-president of the Arab Union for Film Artistes, which is headquartered in Cairo.
He has also finalised another film festival in Stockholm, called Hope Film Festival, which is supported by the Government of Sweden along with other promoters based in Sweden. Hope Film Festival is scheduled to happen in early fall this year.
“As the name suggests, Hope Festival is about movies that kindle the aspect of humanity and acts of kindness and will provide a platform for people who can recreate this in silver screen. There will be many formats for submitting entries as we are also mindful of the latest innovations that have made film-making possible for almost all creative minds,” the filmmaker said.
Al Zadjali has directed a variety of Arabic serials that were telecast on GCC television channels, including ‘Al Urs’, ‘Munthafa’, ‘Bareeq’, ‘Al Wahaj’, ‘Baladeen’ and ‘Annawayn’. He has also directed more than 100 documentaries on a range of subjects. His forthcoming movie ‘Shabka’ (Wedding Gift) will have a mixed crew from the GCC and India.
“I am still looking for some new faces to be launched in this movie,” he said.
“Oman has so far produced only six feature films, out of which three were directed by me. Oman has no dearth for talented artistes and the technical support available here is also world-class, Al Zadjali added. “We need more awareness about this unique industry that today provides the best visibility in world forums, and more support is also required to catapult Oman to a new trajectory. I am also open to good scripts for a series of short films that I am planning this year.”
Al Zadjali’s previous ventures were supported by Effat University of Saudi Arabia and by investors in Kuwait. His film ‘Zayana’, filmed in Kerala and Muscat, won him awards in India and in Lebanon. Al Zadjali was even honoured for his contribution to films by Kuwait, Iraq, France, Egypt Morocco and India.