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Omani filmmaker wins several awards

18 Dec 2023 Omani filmmaker wins several awards By ANIRBAN RAY

Muscat – Coming as a shot in the arm for the Omani film industry, director Mohammad al Darwaish has bagged several awards in the last few weeks – each accolade a testament to the growing momentum and creativity of the sultanate’s movie industry.

Recognition for Darwaish include the Best Animation Film award at the International Children and Women Film Festival, held in Oman from December 4 to 6, for his film Ta.

Written and directed by Darwaish, Ta was shot in October in 2022. 

“We employed software tools such as SONY Vegas, Photoshop and Adobe Premiere for the animation in the film. It was a complicated technical process,” Darwaish informed. 

“Ta is not only a visual delight but also a narrative gem, earning the prestigious Best Narrative Film Award at the festival,” he added.

The graphics and design, masterfully crafted by Ali al Hinai, added an extra layer of brilliance to the film’s creativity. 

Darwaish also claimed the Jury Award at the International Children and Women Film Festival for the film Azzal of which he was director of photography. 

A silent movie directed by Fatima al Hinai, Azzal was shot over three days in July. The movie used diverse high-tech equipment, including SONY A7iii and A7S cameras, lenses ranging from 85mm, 50mm and 24mm, and drones to capture unique perspectives.

Earlier, at the Environmental Film Festival in Tunisia, Darwaish’s documentary Ophiolite earned the coveted Incentive Award. 

This environmental exploration, encompassing various types of ecosystems, was directed and written by Darwaish. Made over more than a year, the film’s extensive production involved filming using cameras such as Canon C300, 5D Mark and the versatile Blackmagic. 

For underwater scenes, GoPro cameras and drones were used; Darwaish was committed to capturing the essence of diverse environments.

“I am thrilled that our hard work has paid off,” Darwaish said, narrating how the team “covered wadis and mountains, interviewed numerous professors and put our hearts into every frame”.

“These awards are not just for me but for the burgeoning Omani film industry, showcasing the depth of talent and storytelling capabilities in our country,” Darwaish added.

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