Successful year for silver screen; a legend passes away
Oman emerging as a popular destination for shooting of foreign films
Omani film industry saw many developments in the past year or so. While Oman emerged as a popular locale for film shootings, the year saw passing away of the doyen of the film industry, Salim Bahwan.
Hollywood, after shooting Star Wars, Mission Impossible and Fast and Furious in the UAE, finally tapped into Oman with Personal Shopper being shot here. The film was well received at the Cannes 2016. The Twilight fame actress Kristen Stewart starred in the movie.
The film was shot in Muscat, Nizwa, Bahla and across Paris, London and the cities of the Czech Republic. It was directed by Olivier Assayas. The movie attracted a lot of attention in the Gulf.
Mohammad Rawahi, a movie enthusiast and a film editor said, “Recently, a number of foreign films were shot in Oman. It is a great moment because it is a boost to the economy and also promotes the country abroad.”
After Hollywood, Indian films are also lined up to be shot in Oman. After a series of Tamil and Bengali movies, a Hindi film which will be totally shot in Oman for the first ever time ever is lined up for November. Based on sports and love, the feature film will also witness the presence of the latest Omani sensation Haitham Rafi, the winner of the 2017 edition of Dil Hai Hindustani music contest in India.
The film, named Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega will be in Hindi and Arabic and will be a sports drama. To be produced under ‘Hit Productions’ banner, the movie will capture the inspiring story of a young boy who aspires to be a cricketer. Director Harleen Singh said, “The film de- picts the never-say-die attitude of a man in spite of numerous failures in life. Though it is a sports film, the sentiments are shared in every sphere of human life. We are delighted to announce this film which we hope will be an Oman-India production. We are eagerly looking forward to joining hands with some local production houses.”
He added that owing to the magnificent landscape, the team chose Oman as the destination for shooting the film.
Another documentary movie that was produced and shot in Oman and talks about the struggles to cross the Empty Quarter was well received by the people in Oman and the region alike.
Named Crossing The Empty Quarter, the film shows the journey of two Omanis and a Briton in crossing the desert in almost 50 days. The film documents the struggle, geography, challenges and the recreation of the expedition in 1930 by Omani traveller Sheikh Salih bin Kalut and British explorer Bertram Thomas.
Appearing in Crossing The Empty Quarter three travellers, Mark Evans, Mohammed al Zadjali and Amour al Wahabi covered almost 1,500km on camel and foot. The journey started from Salalah and ended in Doha.
Speaking about the expedition, Evans, who is general manager at Outward Bound Oman said, “It was a challenge to cross the desert but the experience was enriching and grand. We learnt a lot about the life and also the struggle that was carried out decades ago. What they have achieved is quite fantastic and they are wonderful role models for young Omanis to aspire because they are the living evidence of hard work and tenacity overcoming problems and challenges.”
The Oman Film Society (OFS) is working on new projects and ideas with the aim to include more Omani youth to be part of
The cast and crew of Personal Shopper in Oman
Popular Omani film actor Salim Bahwan passed away this year