Published 21 Nov,2021 via The Jordan Times - The award-winning Jordanian short film “Why”, written and directed by Mohammad Rahahleh, competed in the seventh Hungarian Disability Film Festival Budapest, according to a statement by the Royal Film Commission Jordan (RFC).
The five-minute-long short film features a street sweeper in his mid-20s, played by the Jordanian theatre actor Murad Abu Saraya.
The sweeper faces an unfortunate obstacle in his work, unexpectedly receiving help from the main character, a person with disabilities played by Mahmoud Zoubi, Rahahleh told The Jordan Times.
“The main purpose of the movie is to show the power of giving and portray persons with disabilities as sources of power with a lot to offer,” Rahahleh said.
The film also sheds light on a variety of social issues, by using the word “why” to pose questions such as: Why is there unemployment? Why is there sexual harassment? Why do people toss litter in the street?, he added.
“The presence of a person with a disability as the main protagonist and the use of a single sequence scene both increase the authenticity of the events,” said Rahahleh.
Zoubi, who is a first-time actor, said that the single sequence scene was not easy; especially since it involved a lot of walking as the shooting was repeated nine times in one day.
“I am always up for a challenge that gives me the chance to overcome my disability,” he added, noting that it was an “honour” to represent persons with disabilities and show that they too have something to offer for their communities.
“Why”, which was shot in Salt in 2019, first premiered in 2020 and has since taken part in 10 international film festivals. It won the Best Foreign Short Film Award at the ninth Long Beach International Film Festival in New York and the Best Sound Award at the 32nd Voir on International Film Festival in France, according to Rahahleh.
“The film was developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Arab Aid Organisation in Lebanon and produced by Rana Dabbas with the support of the Royal Film Commission Jordan and Fig and Olive Films,” he noted
The music was composed by Baha Othman, a Jordanian producer and composer, who was part of the sound department of “The Hurt Locker”, which won an Oscar for Best Sound, said Rahahleh.
“The entire crew of the film was made up of Jordanian volunteers who believed in its idea and message,” he added.
The RFC will screen the film as part the “Jordanian Film Caravan” in Jordan’s governorates and the “Film Screenings at Schools” project, and in RFC film centres, according to Rahahleh.
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