Director Joud Jaid at the ADFF in Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. AHMED KUTTY/Gulf News Image Credit: Director Joud Jaid at the ADFF in Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. AHMED KUTTY/Gulf News

First-time feature film director Joud Said is quite a busy man. Having just flown in from his home country, Syria, the independent filmmaker was already rushing about fine-tuning some last minute details before his film opened at the fourth Abu Dhabi Film Festival on Monday.

tabloid! managed to grab him for a quick interview about his film, participating, and what the future may hold for him.

What was the inspiration for Once Again?

My generation grew up either listening to stories or living during the Lebanese Civil War and we are now seeing what is happening to Lebanon in the post-war years, so [I] wanted this film to be a reflection, not only for my generation but also reflect the fluxes in the relationships between Syria and Lebanon.

Did you face any difficulties creating the film?

Not at all. I was lucky that I was able to get funds and permission easily for it. The only tricky thing was writing the screenplay that balanced the story and what I wanted to say.

Have you screened Once Again at other festivals? What do you think of it being chosen to participate in ADFF's New Horizons competition?

We screened it at various film festivals in Syria and it was interesting to see the different reactions to it.

I was very happy and surprised when I was told that it had been chosen for the competition — this will be the first time that it's screened outside Syria.

After ADFF ends, are you considering taking a break or will you be working on a new project?

I'm taking a very short break once all this is over, but then I'll be working on a screenplay for a purely Syrian feature film that we'll start shooting in March 2011. I'm also planning on writing the second and third parts to Once Again.