Animation movies are the best medium to inculcate love for a country’s culture among their children. These movies can speak exclusively to the children and the child in us, says Iraqi-Hungarian filmmaker Thamer Al Zedi.
Al Zedi, who has been considered as a pioneer in the Arab animation field, believes that the best way to reach out to children is animation. The scope of digital media has to be further explored for the benefit of children, he told The Peninsula here yesterday.
Al Zedi’s latest feature narrative Assila is to be screened at Doha Tribeca Film Festival today. His Open Sesame was a great hit and another one is running into thousand episode.
In this digital era, animation movies can be used as best tool to promote culture.
Currently, the animation movies are invading the minds of Arab children through their Western-centric themes. Many of them are packed with western ideologies and veiled statements against Arab culture, he said.
The western producers are bombarding the studies of Arab children with movies packed with horror and violence. There is a need for developing a counter culture in the animation sector.
Another problem with the Western productions are they are largely Western-centric and the themes are alien to the Arab social milieu, he said.
Al Zedi said his teaming up with the Dubai-based Rahbani Production to produce Assila was aimed at getting rid off the children from this kind of movies.
In Assila, Al Zedi has created a stunning and artistic world to take families and kids on an animated journey in to the the life of beautiful mare, Assila. Abandoned as a filly and facing death, Assila finds happiness when rescued by village children Meedo, Teefa and Marmar.
But when here new life and community are threatened by greedy bandits years later, Assila is forced to run the most challenging race of her life to protect those she loves.
“With themes of family, loyalty, love and courage, Assila is an inspirational story for the whole family”, feels Amanda Palmer, Executive Director, Doha Tribeca Film Festival.
Born in Iraq, Al Zedi studied fine arts before starting his directing studies in Hungary in the early “80s. Since then Al Zedi has directed theatre and film with particular emphasis on an animated features and is considered as a pioneer in the Arab animation features.
A leading figure of once Iraq’s theatre movements, Al Zedi was forced to leave his home country after he refused to produce works as directed by the country’s then political leadership.
“An artist has to be free, he cannot accept ideas blindly from political leadership’, Al Zedi believes.