Mustafa Abbas plans first feature film

Writer and director turns his attention to street gangs
Writer and director, Mustafa Abbas.
Writer and director, Mustafa Abbas.


RELATED: Exclusive interview with Mustafa Abbas

Emirati film maker, Mutafa Abbas, is planning to make his first feature length film.

Abbass, whose recent film Sunset State was shown at Cannes Film Festival, said that his new film will be about street gangs in the UAE and will be set in a fictional neighbourhood in Dubai.

Abbas has already written the script and is in talks with productions companies, although nothing has yet been finalised.

“It’s still at the very early stages of production. It’s going to be mainly in Arabic. It’s about street gangs in the UAE. It’s something that no one thinks about, sees or hears,” he said.

Abbas said that the basic premise for the film came from his interest in human psychology and added that it will be “a lot more gruesome” than Sunset State.

“When you look at it, when you see it from a distance, these people [gang members] are threatening and we can’t understand their world. Secondly, most of them were born into that world, they did not go in voluntary. And as always, human nature fascinates me: what pushes a person to do these things or continue living this life? Maybe it’s a lot harder for them to get out than it is to continue living in the world they’re in.”

When asked if he was nervous about the leap from shorts to feature films, Abbas explained that the time is right to make the transition. “Most of us [Emirati film makers] have done enough short films, it’s time to start doing feature films. We owe it to the industry, we are responsible. The industry is made up of films and films are made by film makers, so we have to start making feature films.”

Sunset State, which was released last year, explored depression and suicide through the narration of its two main characters, a middle-aged American writer and an Emirati student. The film was well received in the UAE and abroad, and was screened at the Dubai Film Festival in December last year and in the short film corner of Cannes Film Festival.

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