Bahrain Film Signs Tunisian Star

Manama- Sept30 (BNA) Bahrain film production company, Nooran Pictures, have recently signed up Mohamed Maghraoui, one of the greatest cinematographers of the Arab world, for the production of their first feature film, The Sleeping Tree.

With a career which has spanned productions in three continents, from Europe to Africa and Asia, Maghraoui joins the crew of The Sleeping Tree as the film’s Director of Photography in January 2014 when shooting is set to begin in Bahrain.

His most recent television series collaboration with the celebrated Syrian director, Hatem Ali for Omar – a historic account of the life of the second Caliph of Islam, Omar Ibn Al Khattab – received wide critical acclaim when aired during Ramadan in 2012 on MBC for Arabic-speaking audiences.

A unique artist, the Tunisian director of photography and light designer, has been influenced by the paintings of the great masters – Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner and Gauguin. His wide-ranging experience with film, television series, documentaries and musicals includes Nidhal Chatta’s Last Mirage, Hatem Ali’s The Long Night and Selina, a cinematic musical written and composed by the Rahabani Brothers.

Produced by Nooran Pictures and the Information Affairs Authority (IAA), The Sleeping Tree was written by Fareed Ramadan and will be directed by Mohammed Rashed Buali. Its storyline revolves around a family’s sense of tragedy and reflects on the links between Bahraini heritage and cultural beliefs and activities.

Speaking about the opportunity of working with Maghraoui, Bahraini director, Buali commented, ‘This is a very special collaboration; I am honoured to be working with Mohamed. His work has always been outstanding and recognised throughout the world for its powerful imagery. This will also be a great learning experience for local crew and students who will join our film team!’

Set within the environs of a contemporary Bahraini home, The Sleeping Tree, reveals the tensions within a family broken by their daughter’s illness. Yet, just when the parents have despaired of all hope, a series of coincidences leading to the local landmark, the Tree of Life, rebuild the couple’s faith in life and change. At the same time, truths are unchanging and the family must accept their realities.

The Bahraini duo, Mohammed Rashed Buali and Fareed Ramadan, have worked together in the past on award-winning short films including Al Bishara, or The Good Omen. In addition, each has a string of films and international awards obtained for different ventures in the film industry.

The writer of the two most important Bahraini feature films, “A Bahraini tale” (2006) and “Visitor” (2004), currently Ramadan is overseeing the pre-production stages of a number of other film scripts which he has developed for international directors from Palestine and the United Arab Emirates.

Buali’s work has also taken him to world audiences and in 2012 he was selected as one of the 24 most promising Asian directors amongst 233 put forward for participation in the Busan International Film Festival. Similarly, he was selected by the British Council as the winner of 2012 Young Creative Entrepreneur Award (YCE).

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BNA 1838 GMT 2013/09/30

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