Ahmad Saleh’s “Ayny” earns Best of the Best at ZUMEFF
By Muneera Al Mansoory
ABU DHABI—ZUMEFF, held at Zayed University for its eight year in a row, on April 30-May1, screened many outstanding student films from all around the Middle East. It produced yet another gem in “Ayny: My Second Eye,” which was named Best of the Best for ZUMEFF 2017 at the closing ceremony on May 1 in the ZU-Abu Dhabi Convention Centre.
The film is directed by Ahmad Saleh of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. It is a short animated film about two boys who dream of playing music in a war zone.
The short film with a running time of 11 minutes is about a brutal war that has taken the home of two brothers. They’re protected under the arms of their mother, who tries to nurture them in their new lives. The mother is worried about her sons leaving the house because it’s dangerous. But the boys, who enjoy music, see a new shop open that has a beautiful Oud, and they decide to chase their dream to play a music instrument they’ve fallen in love with.
Later on in the film, the boys collect scrap metal to earn the money and must find out that their mother’s fear was for a good reason. A bomb explodes and leaves the two boys missing one of their arms, but as strong birds will always fly, the two boys become one to overcome their trauma as they play the Oud.
The scene that struck me the most is where you can see the two boys playing the Oud together with their one arms that survived the bomb explosion. It shows you how they need to become one in order to fulfill their biggest dream.
I felt like the most important thing about “Ayny” was the actual story behind it and the director’s experience. Another thing is just the whole production of it; you can see how hard the team worked on this movie since it was an animation film that took a lot of time.
And the effort definitely paid off.
I absolutely loved the film and would recommend it to everyone. No wonder the judges chose “Ayny” as Best of the Best for 2017.