Muscat: Al Boom Oman's first feature film directed by Khalid Al Zedjali, will be premiered during the fourth edition of the Muscat Film Festival to be held from January 20 to 27.

Dr Rajha Bint Abdulameer Bin Ali, Oman's Minister of Tourism, will formally declare the Muscat Film Festival open during the screening of Al Boom at Al Shatti Plaza on Saturday.

Addressing the media at the Press Club on Monday, Talib Bin Mohammad Al Balushi, Head of the Public Relations Committee of the film festival, said: "Around 40 films from the Gulf, Arab and other countries will compete in different categories at the week-long film festival."

He also praised the contribution of several government and private sector organisations in making the festival a successful event.

"The categories defined for the participating films include Arabic feature films, Arabic short films, documentary films and foreign films," he added.


Al Balushi revealed that short films and documentaries will be screened at the Omani Society for Fine Arts, while feature film entries will be screened at Al Shatti Plaza and Al Bahja Cinema.

"The winning films will be awarded khanjars in the concluding function during which a film directed by late film director Jasem Al Majali will also be screened," he said.

On the sidelines of the festival, lectures and seminars will also be held and tours will be organised for guests.

Al Zedjali is in India giving the finishing touches to Al Boom, the film which he hopes will set the tone for similar films in the country.

"We have the potential to make films and our efforts will help touch on Omani life more than any outsider's," he told Gulf News.

He hopes his first venture will be well-received. It is inspired by Samuel Beckett's classic Waiting for Godot. Veteran Oman TV actor Saleh Za'al plays the protagonist fisherman, who puts up a fight against the efforts of an industrialist to invade a fishing hamlet with modern values.

Meanwhile Al Zedjali has completed his second film project.

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The Muscat Film Festival has been held every year for the last four years and showcases some of the best films in the world.

Al Boom will be the first Omani feature film to be premiered at the festival.

Khalid Al Zedjali, who started the Film Festival four years ago, is vying for a prize this year as the director of Al Boom.

The first Omani feature film was mostly shot in the fishing hamlet of Haramyl on the seafront close to old Muscat town.

Residents in the village solved Al Zedjali's problem of finding extras for the crowd scenes by willingly taking part.

Some 25 actors, 14 men and 11 women make up the cast.

Popular Egyptian comedian Said Saleh is making a special appearance in Al Boom. He will be seen playing the role of a teacher.

Staff Report