Belief sees birth of region’s first computer generated sci-fi movie
AED 135,000 budget for eight minute film that will premiere at Gulf Film Festival
The region's first computer generated science-fiction movie Levity: Xero Error Minus1 is a result of belief and passion, according to its director Ashraf Ghori.
The short eight-minute film was put together by a team of ten along with additional support staff over the course of 6 months, and will now have its regional premiere at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai next week. Plans are also in place for an international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Levity, which cost AED 135,000 to produce, is part of a series of computer generation films under the Xero Error franchise that was conceptualised in late 2007, with each film focusing on events in history witnessed by the time-travelling cyborg hero XE7. What sets this concept apart from the usual Hollywood sci-fi fare with cyborgs and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that Xero Error talks about a future when AI is superseded by Natural Intelligence (NI).
"The last couple of months we had about three hours of sleep on average. There's a reason why people haven't done it before. It just takes that much dedication and resources... It's a success story to even get it this far," commented Ghori, the writer and director of the film. "The bottom line is that we wanted to make it and be the first ones to do it".
Associate producer Waqqas Qadir Sheikh said the process hasn't been easy with the limited resources available, but remains confident that it has "major motion picture legend potential".
"The film industry is not a very mature industry here so it becomes equally more tougher to produce such a film," Sheikh explains, adding that having international movies shot here is not a measure of the regional film-making market. "It doesn't matter if they shoot films here...at the end of the day when that movie sold and released, the revenues are not coming to your country over here. The film industry business is you make it wherever you want to, but you produce it out of here, sell it to the world and the revenues come back here. We cannot expect the film industry of the UAE to flourish until and unless we make something which is worldwide appealing."
"We have the capacity to pull off something big but not alone; we need support. This (Levity) is a small display of how we ended up producing something in basements, and showing that we can do this without any major support," added Sheikh.