The Emirati-Brit director on his postapocalyptic flick The Worthy
Emirati-Brit filmmaker Ali Mostafa’s post-apocalyptic thriller, The Worthy.
Picture this: the majority of the world’s water supply has been lethally contaminated, and now you and a group of survivors have to defend yourselves (and your own clean water supply) from violent infiltrators. If it sounds like something straight out of Hollywood, that’s because it is. What’s On chats to Emirati-British director Ali Mostafa about his new film
The Worthy, which is being called the first post-apocalyptic Arabic film ever.
Why did this story resonate with you?
When I was approached to do it, I’d just done a comedy and to do an action thriller felt exciting. One of my goals is to try and do as many genres as I can. For the story, the whole aspect of trying to survive against this threat is a drastic situation for anyone to be in. I found that interesting.
The film was originally written for an American audience. Tell us how you adapted the script into an Arabic film
When I read the original script it was set in the US and it felt like it was almost stereotypical for that type of a genre film. What we found very interesting was when we took the script and Arabised it. We sat down and reflected on what was actually happening in the region and tried to make it a lot more relatable to an Arab audience so they could understand the world, understand what the people were going through.
For people who haven’t seen the film, what can they expect?
I would tell them if they are not a fan of the action-gore-thriller genre, don’t watch it. [Laughs] That would be the first thing. I’ve been in situations where people had no idea what they were going into – coming out from my last film that was a comedy, and they walked out shell-shocked and angry.
You’ve worked with some big Hollywood names on this feature, including Steven Schneider and Peter Safran. What did that teach you?
For me to be able to exchange ideas with Steven and Peter was a great experience. I got to work with an amazing composer, Joseph Bishara. I used to use his music on the rough cuts, and he actually ended up becoming our composer so that was quite an experience in itself.
Is it true your dream gig is to direct a James Bond film?
Yeah! Those are the films that definitely inspired me. I’m half English, so I feel a synergy towards the brand, and I do love the idea that this classy guy loves to kick butt every now and again.
What’s next for you?
Nothing official yet, but I want to do one last Arabic film before an English one, and that last Arabic film is expected to be a 100 per cent Emirati storyline.