Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a filmmaker?
"Everyone is destined for a mission in life." I love this quote; it reflects what happened to me. I was just seven years old when the world of computers invaded me and started to become my passion. I loved anything related to computers, and from that point on, I made a great history (Video editor, Sound editor, 3D animator, and writer) then I became director and producer. You can say I started to be a filmmaker in 2004.
Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker?
There are lots of films that inspired me especially the hardest ones of making such as from the 70s The message By Moustapha Akkad, and of course, Gesù di Nazareth By Franco Zeffirelli, RIP his soul, he just passed away two months ago.
Who is your biggest influence?
Steven Spielberg, M. Night Shyamalan, Darren Aronofsky, Moustapha Akkad.
What were some of the challenges you had to face in making your films?
I liked that you asked me this question because when I look back today to all the challenges I passed in this field, I can say today that challenges and problems are the real filmmakers behind the scene because without them you will never learn the right way to make films. One of my biggest challenges is to create a movie with a meager budget to come up in the end with a good movie, and the audience enjoy it like they watch something made of great production!
Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite?
I prefer Fantasy, Sci-fi, Drama (bot not the boring ones), Epic, and Historical., actually I like most of the genres, as long as the filmmaker knows how to craft a piece of art, and he brings me a new way of telling a story in films form.
What’s your all-time favorite movie and why?
Braveheart (1995), By Mel Gibson. He, as a director, brought all the elements of great movies and put it together in great shape, as he did in Braveheart! He made me feel as if I lived really in that era with all incidences and feelings!
If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?
Anyone who can treat his job as the best shot in his life, and manage the project as his baby, who he wishes to raise him, to be great.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I can't count myself as a religious person, but I feel like I am inviting God to see my project after I finish it as my first viewer. Yes, I do!
The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.
They are so many, but in my opinion, the most important one between all of them genuinely believed in me, is myself.
What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker/actor/screenwriter?
As a filmmaker, I learned to imitate the way God created everything.
As an actor, I learned that the most important thing is to read a lot about your role whether it is a historical figure or a fictional character, then I have to dig some researches about this character and how to build it inside my inner self.
As a writer, I learned that if you could gather with your friends and play a role-play and be the character of your own story, the flow that comes alive out from it will help a lot in finishing the script in the best and fast way.
What keeps you motivated?
To deserve a living full of life, you need to be always motivated! To be motivated for anything necessary to feed your existence.
How has your style evolved?
I perform a mixture of a lot of things that I've learned in film, music, and media industries, to come up with my formula, which allows me to save on budget and time.
On set, the most important thing is:
For me, because I do several roles onset, I have to be aware of everything, and of course, the most important thing is respecting your time and your team time as well.
The project(s) you’re most proud of:
The Legend of Um El Magareen, A Hollywood Night with Shakalama, and Dreams I never Had By Iyad Hajjaj.
The most challenging project you worked on. And why?
So many projects were challengable for me! The Legend of Um Elmagareen is one of them as an example, I had to deal with "First Time Acting" (FTA) people, which is most of them even don't know how to do normal things like communicating with the coordinators and refer what to whom, but it was super fun since they are talented and have the motivation to learn fast and to organize themselves!
What are your short term and long term career goals?
Short term to have my film/episodes The Legend of Um Elmagareen on Netflix, Hulu, Disney, etc.
Long term, to give the ability for disabled filmmakers to make films from their homes, by using my new technique of making films (Virtualizer). I know you are going to ask me, "what Virtualizer is? I will reveal the method after I finish the first season of Um Elmagareen, because it needs lots of work to describe it in details.
Your next projects?
My second project "A Hollywood Night with Shakalama" already completed this month, so we completed two projects in the same year “Touch Wood", The third project (Chapter2) of "The Legend of Um Elmagareen”, it’s in the half way of the production, and three other projects still in the writing and pre production phases.
Please share with us where people can find you on social media, so our readers could keep track of your career.
“Um Elmagareen” Facebook fan page:
Personal Facebook fan page:
“Um Elmagareen” Instagram: