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“Behind the Lens: Nayla Al Khaja, Emirati Filmmaker, Reflects on Cinematic Inspirations and Her Journey in Filmmaking”-1

In a departure from clichés, women of substance like Nayla Al Khaja are rewriting life scripts and screenplays. As the first Emirati female filmmaker, Nayla exemplifies the new-age woman, utilizing the cinematic canvas to share stories close to her heart.

Premiere Night Nerves: “Three” Takes the Center Stage

On the eve of her first feature-length film, “Three,” premiering at the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah, Nayla opens up about the anticipation, nerves, and excitement surrounding this significant moment. Drawing parallels to a wedding night, she hopes for a positive reception, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of audience response.

Beyond Opening Night: Lessons from the Past: Nayla Al Khaja

Reflecting on her past work, Nayla shares insights about the underappreciated film “Animal” and imparts advice to fellow filmmakers. She emphasizes the importance of not viewing the opening night as the end game, highlighting the potential for films to find different markets at different times.

Exploring Themes: Kids, Dysfunctional Families, and Coming-of-Age

Nayla delves into the recurring themes in her films, which often center around childhood, dysfunctional families, and coming-of-age narratives. With a focus on “Three,” she aims to unravel the complexities of fear, a mother’s love, and the decisions made in desperate circumstances.

Childhood Chronicles: Nayla’s Signature Theme

Discussing her consistent theme of childhood, Nayla reveals the personal connection to her brother’s life, a pivotal influence on her films. She shares details about her next project, “Baab,” which explores the five stages of grief through the ears of a woman with Tinnitus, blending magic realism and horror fantasy.

Collaborating with Legends: AR Rahman and Jefferson Mays: Nayla Al Khaja

Nayla shares the excitement and humbling experience of collaborating with legendary composer AR Rahman for “Three.” She provides insights into how the renowned actor Jefferson Mays became part of the project, showcasing their collective commitment to the film’s unique vision.

Balancing Social Commentary and Entertainment: Nayla Al Khaja

While some of Nayla’s stories contain social commentary, she emphasizes her primary goal of providing pure entertainment. Choosing the dark palette for its visual richness, she aims to take audiences on visually stunning journeys into dark worlds while maintaining a poetic and romantic undertone.

Behind “Three”: Visceral Inspiration and Personal Connection

Nayla opens up about the inspiration behind “Three,” sharing personal experiences and anecdotes that fueled the story. Exploring themes of faith, guilt, and societal judgment, the film portrays a mother’s desperation and confusion as she grapples with her son’s deteriorating condition.

Future Endeavors: Domination of the Middle Space: Nayla Al Khaja

Looking ahead, Nayla discusses her commitment to creating films that balance her voice, visual appeal, and entertainment value. She expresses the desire to dominate the middle ground between commercial and artistic elements, providing a unique cinematic experience.

Anticipating Release: “Three” and its Unique Elements: Nayla Al Khaja

With renowned actor Jefferson Mays and composer AR Rahman on board, Nayla anticipates the release of “Three” in February. She encourages audiences to watch the film for its unique cross-cultural elements, diverging from clichéd horror types and offering breathtaking cinematography.

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