Suc­cess­ful year for sil­ver screen; a leg­end passes away

Oman emerg­ing as a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for shoot­ing of for­eign films

Muscat Daily - - RENAISSANCE DAY -

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

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