It was a first of its kind challenge in Doha. A personal initiative of a film enthusiast, ‘Qatar 48 Hour Film Challenge’ tested the creative abilities of different Doha-based short filmmakers.
The recently concluded short film challenge was first conceptualised and then materialised by Abdulrahman Alfayad, a computer science graduate from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and currently working with Qatar Computing Research Center.
The film event that took place at Qatar Foundation Student Center Cinema was attended by 201 participants from all backgrounds and nationalities in Qatar.
The participants made up 34 teams in total on the opening ceremony. However, on the day of the closing ceremony, the organisers received 20 films from 20 teams. Around 250 audience members, which included the teams, judges, friends and families.
The first ever public film challenge was won by the short movie Big Zero – a project of an Indian team. The best film was produced by Hisham Madayi under IB Creative Banner in association with Zee Creations. The other producer of the movie is Sunil Hassan. The three minute-long movie was conceptualised by Vishnu Ravi.
Its script and screenplay was written by Rameez Asees. Jayshankar gave the cinematography and Lukhman Hakeem edited the movie. Shameer CM played the lead role and the supporting actor was Mansoor Kochukadavu. The creative contributors to the project were namely; RJ Jibin, Rishad, and Refiq Puthenveetil.
According to the organisers, the best editing award was shared between two teams. The best cinematography award was won by Yakamoz – a Turkish team from Qatar University. The team members were namely; Abdullah Harun Ilhan, Sima Nur Karakullukçu, and Esma Nur Demir.
The best narrative award was taken by 4ART– a team comprising of Jan Carlo Tagudin, Anna Petkevich, Rashid Ismail, and Shiv Kumar Saini.
As far as the best actor award is concerned, it was won by In-Action, a Qatari women team. Its members are namely; Noor al-Kuwari, Maha al-Jaber, Maryam al-Kazem, and Sara al-Jaber.
Talking to Community, Rameez Asees, writer of Big Zero, said: “We are very happy to win the best short film award challenge, the first of its kind in Qatar. We knew that we are going to get significant success at the challenge as the audience cheered and enjoyed the short film when it was played on the big screen.”
Sharing the story-line of the short film, the writer said: “The genre of the film is fantasy. It begins with a young man working in his office after office hours. He receives a call from one of his friends to bring pizza for a party. He goes to another room to find a pen. When he writes down pizza with the pen, a pizza appears on his table physically. He gets amazed. Then he writes the name of a soft drink, the drink appears. He then writes QR100 and the money appears. He becomes very happy. He writes QR1, 000 but the money does not appear. He writes another big amount but the money does not appear.
“When he writes 0001, the two QR500 notes appear. He becomes excited and decides to write a big amount. He writes many zeros and when he tries to write one, the pen stops writing. He gets perplexed and throws the pen out of window after trying hard to make it write. The pen hit the head of a man who picks it up and checks if it is working by writing on his palm. The pen writes and the man walks away. The underlying message of the movie is that greed is a curse.”
The short movies were duly judged by a panel of real experts. The judging panel included Ben Robinson, a known UK short filmmaker who is currently a producer with Doha Film Institute’s Qatari Film Fund.
The other judge was Yasser Mustafa, a Qatari cinematographer currently working with DFI.
Rana Kazkaz, from Northwestern University, was another judge. She is an award-winning filmmaker, whose films have been recognised at the world’s leading film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, Abu Dhabi and others. Anka Malatynska, also from Northwestern University Qatar, is an American cinematographer. She has been named as one of the 10 rising stars of cinematography in 2019.
AWARD: The Big Zero team receiving the Qatar 48 Hour Film Challenge award.