Interview with Saudi Journalist and Film Maker Sameera Aziz

Team whatSHElikes had an exclusive opportunity to interview well known Saudi Journalist/Film Maker ‘Sameera Aziz’ who is recently in Mumbai for her upcoming women centric movie project ‘Reem’ . The movie is based on a Saudi-Arabian girl whose mother is an Indian woman and the issues and effects of cross-cultural marriage.

Q: What inspired you to start this project of your film?
A: Entertainment media is a very powerful media to give a strong message. Being a patriotic Saudi woman, my aim is to present a positive image of Saudis of this age. I want to present a modern and educated Saudi youth to show the world that – we, ‘Saudis’ are not harsh and ignorant. We are not among those people who have spread the hatred by their terrorism acts. We are not terrorist and abusers, we do love others, we do care others..Our young generation is decent, confident, humble and highly educated. They have a sense to socialize keeping their values and identity.

Q: Why did you leave your job of Editor ?
A: Print media has no scope now. Production media is much powerful. People read online now. They get news’ updates online. I decide to switch on the production media. I just change the medium but I still belong to the media. I left the job from Saudi Gazette because it was not possible to manage the both production work and Journalism together. I have to travel to India anytime when production house needs me. Since I am the captain of the ship, I have to take decisions there. When I was doing job in Saudi Gazette, it was not possible to take holidays always to travel to India. In fact, I had lost my interest in print media in which I worked for 12-years. I think 12 years are enough to get a huge experience in work.

Q: How your film will be different from others?
A: First of all, it is a first Saudi-Indian venture. So this is a unique aspect of my film. The story is very new and inspired by the true incidence. The story and characters of the film are never being presented in any movie earlier. Unique and new things are always being welcomed in Bollywood. People want to know about the Saudi woman.Their curiosity will be useful for this film. Saudi women are always being portrayed as a victim of social norms. Let the world know that our heroine ‘Reem’ – a Saudi woman of today – gets the liberty to find her identity.

Q: what the difference did you find in between two lines of work.?
A: As I said, I just changed the medium but I am still in media. The basic thing is to convey your message. I will convey my message through production media rather than print media now. Production media is more powerful. I have 12-years’ experience and I know very much about the policy to convey my message. Film making is the story telling and I know how to tell to people. I will do my job as a director to control the things as per as Saudi aspect. Rest of the job will be done by my team. Everybody will have a certain responsibility of his expertise.

Q:Why did you choose bollywood ?
A: Bolywood is the powerful and developed industry. I believe Bollywood is the best source to introduce Saudi way to the world.

Q: In Saudi Arabia there is no cinema house and there is no trend of films , then what do you think about the film production in Saudi Arabia,or as a Saudi film maker?
A: My film is a Bollywood movie. It is not a Saudi movie. It will be released worldwide. The relation of Saudi Arabia with this movie is that the director and writer of the film (me) is a Saudi national and the characters of the movie are the Saudis as per as storyline. Some actors will also be the Saudis in this movie. Some 20 minutes movie shooting will be done in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) as per as storyline. People in Saudi Arabia can see this movie in DVDs same as the use to watch other Bollywood movies.

Q: Do you think there is allot of scope for film making in Saudi?
A: Movie making in Saudi Arabia is not very advanced like other countries of the world. But with time, Saudi film industry will also groom. We have to wait and watch patiently. Some Saudi film makers have come forward and many young people are keep coming to join this field. I have connected the Saudi cinema to Bollywood through my film.This is also a positive step for the progress of Saudi film industry.

Q: Can you tell us about the star cast of the film?
A: Our Cast is from Saudi Arabia: Razia Sultana (Saudi actress), Hamza Eskander (Saudi actor), Muhammad Bakhsh (Saudi actor), Salem Bawazeer (Saudi actor)

Sameera Aziz is a Bureau Chief of the first Saudi independent English news website ‘The Peninsula Times’ and the Country Head of ‘South Asian Regional Information Agency’ (SARIA), which is an international news agency with voice of SAARC countries. She is a speaker regarding international, social, expatriate, animal, and women’s issues.

What do you think?

Written by Smita Diwan

Smita Diwan a Television Journalist and Communication Specialist with an experience of 10 years in media and leading satellite channels started as a digital hub for women in India. Smita specialises in Lifestyle, Home Decor, Health, Food and Product reviews. When she is not working,she is researching or practising yoga! @SmitaDiwan

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