Omani women make a splash at film festival

MUSCAT, April 2 –
Amateur Omani women filmmakers made their presence felt at the just-concluded 10th Muscat International Film Festival.
Ruqaya Abdulla al Bahri, a graduate in Digital Media from the Nizwa College of Applied Science, bagged the Golden Khanjar, while Bashayer al Mshaikhi claimed the Silver Khanjar for their debut movies.
“It (award) was unexpected. I’m really proud of my team members,” an elated Ruqaya told Observer.
“I hope we receive more support and better facilities to make even better movies in the future,” she added. Her film, ‘A Gift to the Sky’ narrates the story of an Omani family which meets with an accident and how the tragedy shakes up the family. A boy collects money to buy a beautiful doll as a present for his sister for her birthday. But just before the birthday, she meets with a fatal accident.
Moved by the loss, the boy hands the money to his mother as a gift, but tragedy strikes again in the form of accident, claiming her life.
Shaken by the twin blows, the boy walks to their grave with a bunch of flowers bought with the money he had collected.
‘A Gift to the Sky’ subtly portrays how an accident can shatter dreams of a family and how traumatic it can be for a young boy,” one of the judges had commented in the citation.
Ruqaya said her friends, Buthaina al Braiki and Hajer al Saeedi, helped her in making the film from the beginning to the end.
Bashayer al Mshaikhi, a multimedia student of Sur College of Applied Science, says it was her commitment to society that made her throw light on the menace of smoking and its impact on individuals, family and society.
Her film, ‘Overlap’ deals with the issue of youth using tobacco and how it affects relations, family and society as a whole. Fahed al Musheifri played the protagonist, while Shamma al Araimi and Haifa al Ismaili assisted Bashayer in her maiden venture.
“This award shows how much our society is worried about smoking and its effects,” says Bashayer.
“We will deal with other topics that need society’s special attention and action before it is too late. We are indeed obliged to the Oman Film Society for giving us such an opportunity,” she added.