Dubai ready for alien in­va­sion

UAE ready for first sci-fi fea­ture, writes Cait­lyn Davey

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - cait­lyn@7days.ae

In the brief few min­utes be­tween prepa­ra­tions for his film’s re­lease, S.A Zaidi is rather busy; his UAE-pro­duced movie Ae­ri­als is re­leas­ing to­mor­row, and he’s chat­ting an­i­mat­edly on the phone to me in be­tween prepa­ra­tions for the pre­miere.

Ae­ri­als is an alien-in­va­sion film, the UAE’s first sci-fi fea­ture film pro­duced in the coun­try, and it has been in­de­pen­dently funded by Zaidi and the movie’s pro­ducer, Ghanem Ghubash.

The duo, who grew up to­gether in the UAE, pro­duced the film in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Dubai Film and TV Com­mis­sion – who Zaidi ex­plains helped get the per­mits for film­ing mo­bilised – some­thing that is not al­ways easy for in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies.

“There were plenty of chal­lenges in mak­ing this film - from the cin­e­matog­ra­phy - get­ting the space­ships just right - the bud­get, the per­mits, so it has been dif­fi­cult, but we got there!”

We last spoke to Zaidi at Comic Con in March, 2015, when the trailer was pre­viewed. With the film to re­lease this week­end, he ac­knowl­edges the tim­ings have gone a lit­tle over: “Hon­estly, the film has taken nearly three years – which is a long time, but given we were work­ing as a team of about 10 on the pro­duc­tion, it has been a long road.”

The sci-fi hor­ror drama is set in the UAE, made by UAE pro­duc­ers, and fea­tures sig­nif­i­cant UAE land­marks, in­clud­ing Sheikh Zayed Road, The Emi­rates Tow­ers, and of course, the Burj Khal­ifa.

Zaidi him­self is a huge hor­ror and sci­ence fic­tion fan, and asked, why not Dubai for a movie?

“I think peo­ple have seen alien in­va­sions in New York, LA, Lon­don, land­marks around the world, so it is the UAE’s turn. I mean… why not here?”

He says the film is about aliens, but it’s not about see­ing iconic UAE land­marks be­ing dig­i­tally de­mol­ished. Zaidi con­tin­ues: “Though we didn’t opt for the Hol­ly­wood type ex­plo­sions and de­struc­tion - partly be­cause it’s the UAE’s first film of this na­ture and partly due to bud­get - we didn’t want to tear Dubai apart in its first sci-fi movie!”

Why sci-fi? Apart from be­ing a huge fan of the genre him­self, Zaidi says: “There’s such an ap­petite for sci-fi and hor­ror films in this re­gion – be­fore we went on this project, I did heavy re­search into this genre within the GCC, and the hunger is there, it al­ways has been – from huge events like Comic Con, to Sci-Fi fans, and here, it’s al­ways sci-fi and hor­ror films top­ping the box of­fice – and has been for years.”

Peo­ple have seen alien in­va­sions in New York, in Lon­don, in sig­nif­i­cant land­marks around the world, so it is the UAE’s turn. I mean… why not here? – Ae­ri­als di­rec­tor, S.A. Zaidi

ATOP THE BURJ KHAL­IFA: The film sees an alien in­va­sion in the UAE AE­RI­ALS WILL BE SCREENED IN CIN­E­MAS IN DUBAI, ABU DHABI AND FUJAIRAH. SEE FAT BROTH­ERS FILM ON YOUTUBE FOR THE TRAILER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.