The project, produced by Epic Films and Senorita Films, will begin principal photography in Dubai as DFTC prepares to fast track process to obtain necessary filming permits. A teaser of an extended feature set to be filmed next, The Shadow stars local Emirati actors. It tells the story of a nine year old in the grip of an uncontrolled phenomena and follows his mother as she takes desperate measures to save his life. The move is reportedly based on actual events experienced by al Khaja herself.
“We are proud to contribute to this project and support talented local directors such as Nayla,” a DFTC spokesperson said. “DFTC is committed to offering services that help Emirati filmmakers achieve their goals and propel them onto the international stage, in line with the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021 that aims at cementing Dubai’s positon as a hub for creative and empowered people”.
Worldwide, only five per cent of women directors specialise in this genre. I’m genuinely hoping to inspire more women in the region to follow my lead and venture into filming difficult topics based on more hard-hitting narratives. The UAE lacks female feature film directors of a certain calibre, and it’s about time we see a change in this category,” said al Khaja. “I’m incredibly excited to be telling this story and extremely thankful for all the support we have received from those who participated in the real events.”
“The project came to life thanks to the unconditional support of Sultan, Darmaki and Hassan Al Khaja; the Dubai Film and TV Commission; Filmquip Media, who are supplying the equipment; and, ARRI, the international leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems, that will be shipping their latest signature prime lenses for the shoot and will take care of the ‘behind the scenes’ footage,” she continued, “This will be the first time that their new lenses are used in the Middle East.”