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Development Short Film Projects

Cinderella

Jordan, Sweden \ 10 min

 

Director : Ala’a Al Qaisi 

Producer:  Shaker K Tahrer

 

Synopsis:

Cinderella tells the story of Farah, a 13-year-old girl who lives in poverty with her mother, grandmother and two-year-old brother. As Farah goes through a tough puberty, her mother is preparing to marry a man and leave their home with Farah’s brother, abandoning the young girl to live with her grandmother. In their culture, it would never do to bring a young girl, especially a pubescent one into a new man’s household.

 

This turn of events makes Farah’s puberty all that much harder. As Farah tries to reject the inevitable biological changes she is going through, even while her mother and her friend make fun of Farah’s developing breasts. She also tries to prove to her mother that she is mature and responsible enough to keep her little brother with her and her grandmother.

 

When Farah’s mother gets her period, she sends her to buy sanitary pads which opens her eyes to another aspect of growing up. She has never known their usage before and no one has ever bothered. This raises her curiosity about the adult world she is about to enter and which she wants to ask questions about, but she stays silent as she knows she will be rejected. She learns by observation and instils the thoughts into her own knowledge.

 

The mother decides to wait until she finishes her period before she leaves and starts a new family without Farah. Each day, Farah counts the sanitary pads her mother uses which gives her one more day. Throughout, we see the emotional journey Farah goes through, torn apart between wanting to stay a child but having to act as an adult to keep her little brother.

 

the mother takes her brother and moves on to the new man, and life, leaving Farah alone on the threshold of adulthood. 

 

Director : Ala’a Al Qaisi

Ala’a Al Qaisi is a Jordanian-Australian Writer-Director. After intense competition, the Royal Jordanian Royal Film Commission’s jury headed by the Academy Award Winner Hany Abu- Assad (“Paradie Now”, “Omar”) has selected Ala’a for its Debut Feature Film Fund. The RFC is funding Alaa’s upcoming production of The Day of Arafah of USD 130K, plus a grant of using the gift of King Abdullah II to the RFC, Arri Alexa camera and all its attachments, and many more sponsorships and logistic support. Ala’a has also been selected at 2020 El Gouna Film Festival Platform for development prize, where she won the Monaco based International Emerging Film Talent Association “IEFTA” Award, which will get her to participate in Torino Film lab 2021,in addition to much more ongoing in kind support.

 

Ala’a participated in the RFC Rawi Screenwriting Lab. She has developed The Day of Arafah under the mentorship of the well-known filmmakers Annemarie Jacir (“Wajib” “When I Saw You”), Karim Traidia (“The Polish Bride” “The Ghandi Murder”) and Abu Bakr Shawky (‘Yomeddine” Cannes Film Festival) She has received several awards for her screenwriting from The University of Jordan, The Hashemite University and The Jordan Language Centre. Ala’a Al Qaisi moved to Australia in 2009. While there, she studied filmmaking at Sydney Film School and graduated from Actors Centre Australia. Ala’a worked on numerous short films there including two she directed: “Walk in My Shoes,” and “Pink Swing.” Both films were featured at the Sydney Film School Festival, where she was awarded The Sydney Film School Courage, Curiosity and Compassion Award in 2013. Ala’a Al Qaisi recently returned to Jordan at the request of the Royal Film Commission to develop 

and produce her film.

Producer: Shaker K Tahrer

Shaker K Tahrer had previously written, directed, and produced the following short films: My father does not cry (Min pappa gråter inte) and Soccer-player at midnight (Fotbollsspelare vid midnatt). The films have competed in several major European film festivals such as: Clermont-Ferrand, German Dresden Film festival Copenhagen Film festival, and others and have also been shown on the Swedish National Television (SVT) several times.

Shaker’s most recent film is a full- length feature film called Damn Boys (Jävla pojkar) which had its Swedish premier in April 2012. Shaker wrote the film score/script, directed, and produced it and it has competed and been shown at several major film festivals around the world such as: Montreal World Film Festival, Sao Paulo International Film festival, Bangaluru International Film festival, Zlín International Film Festival, Bangkok International Film Festival and Brussels Film Festival where the film won the prize for best original score/script, with among others, Peter Greenaway in the jury. The film has also been shown on the Swedish National Television (SVT).

Shaker K Tahrer is educated and studied Directing at the Film Academy in Gothenburg Sweden as well as Film Core/script Composition at Film in West (Film I VÄST) in Trollhättan, Sweden. 

2014 – 2020 got 

Received funding on seven occasions from the Swedish Film Institute to develop and write two feature film scripts.