Dubai-based film producer Arjun Kumar
Dubai-based film producer Arjun Kumar Image Credit: Supplied

UAE residents with a passion for the screen could get a chance to be a part of an anthology film being created by Dubai-based movie producer Arjun Kumar.

Kumar, who has co-produced Bollywood films such as ‘Welcome Back’ and ‘Hera Pheri’, is inviting people of all nationalities and backgrounds to send in stories — whether fictional or based on real life — that he says will be enacted by established actors as six short stories.

The founder of Mumbai-based Anthem Entertainment spoke to Gulf News about why he was inspired to showcase stories written by and about regular people.

“When we did ‘Welcome Back’, we spent big money and we were able to show the glamour, the glitz of [the UAE],” he says, referring to the movie that was partly shot in Dubai and starred Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Shruti Haasan and others. “[But] we’ve actually not spoken about the people.”

Having to stay put in the UAE for the past year gave Kumar a lot to think about.

“This [past] year gave me time to spend and when I had all this time I started meeting people,” he says. “A lot of people have started taking online classes, a lot of people are following their passion. And I said that there’s no better time than this... give them an opportunity, let’s listen to stories.”

Kumar says the stories can be set in any time frame but they will have a unifying theme.

“I’m not going to define [the anthology]. The only thing I would like to define... is the theme around it. We want to spread positivity,” he says. “[Things like] hope, things like love and dreams and aspirations. It can be in the pandemic, it can be pre-pandemic, it can be from the 80s.”

Asked how he would inspire would-be contributors to come up with ideas, Kumar says people are already brimming with them.

“Somebody who’s going to write something is already inspired and he [has] a story to tell,” he says. “All we are doing is giving people a platform.”

According to a statement, submissions of original story ideas are welcome from professional and non-professional writers. If chosen, a creative team will help develop the story idea into a script. The story ideas/synopsis can be emailed to uaestoryteller.aei@yahoo.com