‘Al Johara’ replays the Cinderella theme at ZUMEFF
By Fatma AlFalasi
ABU DHABI—They say every fairytale has a reality and the Qatari take on the classic “Cinderella” — “Al Johara” — is for sure one that applies. There is an important message I found hidden in this narrative movie screened at ZUMEFF 2017 at Zayed University, one that everyone should be aware of. So let me begin.
Once upon a time, a father loved his daughter too much, and if he could, he would’ve given her the world on a plate. Nevertheless, he feels like his daughter is missing one thing he can’t offer as a father, the love of a mother. And for that reason, he married a mother with two daughters to start a family for his own daughter. That is when the story of Al Johara began.
Night after another Al Johara wished to live the glamorous life that her stepmother and stepsisters took away from her. One day, she received an invitation to an old friend’s wedding. That’s when she believed her wishes might soon be her reality, but instead she learned so many important life lessons. I will leave the rest for you to watch.
“Al Johara” was screened at the eighth edition of Zayed University Middle East Film Festival on 30 April-1 May 2017 in the auditorium at the Sheikha Fatima Convention Centre on the Abu Dhabi campus of ZU.
Nora Al-Subai, a graduate from Carnegie Mellon, directed this narrative short movie along with the creative Qatari producer, Rasha W. Mkachar. Magic for sure happened.
Excitingly, starring in this short film was the well-known Abrar Sabt, a Bahraini film actress. Not only did she do an effective and professional job in delivering the message but also so did every actor on the set.
Every scene was beautifully shot and that is even an understatement. Here is a round of applause for Tom Hines, the man behind the cinematography and Abdul Jabbar Maki, the film editor.
My favorite scene was where Al Johara, played by Abrar Sabt, felt very wrecked and insecure for being different from every other girl, especially her stepsisters.
“If you hear what people tell you, you’ll never succeed,” said Al Johara’s beloved neighbor in reply to the situation. That was a very important message for every person who feels different.
So, it’s safe to say that “Al Johara” gets a thumbs up. Go watch it. Have a laugh and a lesson.
Film at a glance:
Title of Film: “Al Johara”
Director: Nora Al-Subai
Producer: Rasha Mkachar
Editor: Abdul Jabbar Maki
Music: Najati Al Suloh
Cinematographer: Thomas Hines
Production Company: Doha Film Institute
Cast: Salwa Bakheet, Abrar Sabt, Hassan Saqr Hassan, Nada Ibrahim, Syrina Williams, Safa Moussa
Duration: 27 minutes
Genre: Short Narrative