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Three Omani films triumph at Moroccan film festival

28 May 2024 Three Omani films triumph at Moroccan film festival By MOHAMMED TAHA

Muscat – Three Omani films have clinched top honours at the Atlas International Film Festival held in Morocco from May 23 to 26.

Dr Humaid bin Saeed al Amri’s Al Darrooj secured the grand prize, while Al Murad directed by Mohammed al Ajmi and You Will Not Dive Alone by Fahd al Maimani won the jury awards.

Mohammed al Ajmi’s documentary Al Murad explores the Al Tabseel tradition, portraying the unity and joy of a family engaged in the date harvesting season. Ajmi described Al Murad as more than just a documentary about tradition; it symbolises the bond that holds the family together under the palm trees.

“Al Murad is the rope that extends from the top of the palm tree to the ground, symbolising the beautiful distance that keeps the family together to reap the fruits,” Ajmi said.

He also discussed the broader impact of film festivals, noting that local and international participations facilitate exchange of cinematic experiences and stimulates competition.

“Such opportunities motivate filmmakers to develop their skills and intersect cinematic cultures.”

Ajmi highlighted the value of workshops and exhibitions at these festivals, which serve as vital platforms for filmmakers to converge and grow.

Reflecting on the success of Omani films at the festival, Ajmi remarked, “This victory is a testament to the ongoing cinematic achievements of Omani films on the international stage. It highlights the dedication of Omani directors to use cinema as a medium to express and promote the rich customs and traditions of Oman.”

The movie Al Darrooj tackles a poignant social issue, focusing on the struggles of a young widow with a disabled child, who faces societal rejection. The film delicately explores her challenging decision between her future and her commitment to her son.

You Will Not Dive Alone offers a visually stunning journey into the depths of the ocean, spotlighting Oman’s ancient maritime culture and the pristine beauty of the Daymaniyat Islands.

The film narrates the story of two Omani sailors – Faisal al Yazidi and Ahmed al Busaidi – and their connection with the marine world, led by exceptional cinematography.

Maimani shared his elation over the film’s success, stating, “This victory is not just mine; it is a victory for Oman. The joy of seeing hard work and dedication recognised is indescribable.”

He viewed this achievement as a significant milestone in his career, hopeful that it will spur greater creativity and recognition for Omani cinema.

Maimani also highlighted the needs of the film industry, stressing on the importance of continuous support from the cultural and governmental bodies, greater funding, and international collaboration to enhance skills and expose Omani cinema to a wider audience.

“Being present at international festivals and engaging with global audiences are crucial steps for promoting Omani culture and elevating the stature of Omani cinema at the international level,” he added.

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