Talashi Films co-founder Abdul Mohsen Almutairi has directed and produced more than 20 short, feature, and documentary films, including the award-winning “Sunrise/Sunset.” Through film he aims to portray messages on religion, politics and the pitfalls of extremism.
I’m from Saudi Arabia, but I’m now in Philadelphia. I’m making a short fictional film, which is inspired by true events. “Daesh Girl” is about a Middle Eastern woman who is pretending to join ISIL but is really on a mission to rescue her girlfriend. The film tries to depict closed minded tendencies coupled with religious extremism. It is an artistic weapon that challenges the ugliness of ISIS terrorism and the xenophobia and extremism of some politicians.
To me, great films make clear statements about social issues, like inequity, gender, race, classes, religions and political positions. Arts have their own beautiful power in politics. With simplicity, they invite people to join political activism. Films are a powerful medium to express dissent political statement. I am a Member of Saudi Film Committee and currently a student at The University of the Arts in Pennsylvania. I had to convince my family to get into the film and arts business.
Film and arts are still quite new in the Gulf. It’s great to see film and arts take a movement. I think our society is still undecided whether they want to embrace this industry, but we are in a stage when this is needed. Through cinema, we can send a message to the world.