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BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: For a real film industry to grow in Qatar, it is important to honestly take to the screen challenges faced by society, according to a prominent Qatari.
“Once we have the ability to talk about social problems, whatever problems we have in the community in our films, then we will have a good film industry,” Ghanem Al Sulaiti (pictured), prominent Qatari actor, playwright, director and producer told The Peninsula yesterday.
Coming from a conservative society, Al Sulaiti said he had to face challenges when he decided to embark on a career on stage and films.
“Definitely, I faced many challenges because we are in a conservative country, so years back I had to fight even my family, because I used to write mostly about social and political issues, criticising whatever was happening that time. I became not only a writer but fighter,” he recalls.
“But if you want to become a real artist you have to be a fighter,” he said, adding he never thought of money when he ventured into production but his passion, which for him was so important.
The prolific artist graduated from the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts in Cairo, specialising in playwriting. He has written over 15 plays on social and political issues, some of which he directed, and some 300 hours of material for dramedy genre.
Although he calls himself ‘a man of the theatre’ for performing many roles from acting and directing to writing and producing, he prefers acting because “it is the final product that people see.”
He is mentoring over 30 participants in a five-day ‘Qoul Qasa: Creative Writing Workshop’ at Doha Film Institute (DFI).
“This workshop is very significant not only in Qatar but anywhere for anyone who is interested in being part of the filmmaking industry. For them to be part of the industry, they have to start with the ‘golden keys’, the stages to be a filmmaker later on and creative writing is one of them,” he explained.
Launched by DFI’s film financing arm, the Gulf Film Development (GFD), the workshop aimed to help nurture skills of aspiring writers for future screenplay writing and film projects, covering important aspects of writing from identifying powerful themes to critical evaluation of films crucial for dramatic cinematic writing.