Hot on the heels of the success of The Long Night's Middle East premiere, tabloid! spoke to Basel Khayat, one of the rising stars in Syrian film and television industry about, among other things, his role in The Long Night, what he thinks of the festival and his upcoming projects.

Is this your first time at the Middle East International Festival?

Yes. I didn't know what to expect, to be honest. I was only able to get an idea about the festival from articles I've been reading about it. The programme seems to be quite good and I'm sure that in time it's going to be one of the best festivals not only in the region but the world also.

Why did you agree to be a part of this movie?

When I first read the script [for The Long Night], and spoke to Hatem [Ali, the director], I felt a great sense of responsibility towards this movie.

Its subject is a source of fear for many people. But we focused on the human aspect of this situation, not the political... all the characters disregarded their conflicts, which allowed them to feel a sense of harmony.

Did you have the chance to watch any other films? What were your impressions?

I saw Son of Babylon [by director Mohammad Al Daradji]. I loved it — the way it was filmed and the way the story was presented.

I also liked the fact that when the movie ended, it ended.

There were no extra details that left me wondering about what may happen.

Are you currently working on a movie or television series?

Yes, I'm working on a TV series. It should be aired in the near future.

Whenever you have some time to spare, what do you like to do?

I enjoy playing sports, reading — but I don't read anything that's related to my industry and of course, spending time with my son!