Creative Media Solutions, headquartered in Dubai, UAE and headquartered in Jordan, is preparing two new feature films – ‘Montreal’ and ‘Sync’.
The Jordanian feature film “Montreal” is directed by Jordanian-Palestinian director Amin Nayfeh, whose first feature film “200 Meters” starring Ali Suleiman, about a Palestinian family separated by the Israeli wall, won the Audience Award at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
The picture is a coming-of-age tale about a 12-year-old boy who moves to Jordan from abroad and discovers a Crusader castle called Montreal.
Nayfeh explains to diverse: The film is about a young boy who visits a small village in Jordan with his father and leaves there. Like all kids, he loves video games, social media, gadgets, and technology and suddenly finds himself stuck in this peaceful village where nothing happens. But the village has a Crusader castle, which is a major tourist attraction, and this is where his adventure takes place. He gets bullied by the local boys because he’s different, but then he meets an old man from the village who becomes his mentor.”
Naifeh says he wants to make a family film, which he says is very rare in the Middle East. “It is very important for me to work in this genre because my nieces, who acted alongside me in 200 Meters, always ask me what Arab films they should watch, and I really can’t recommend a film suitable for their age.” Aiming for a G rating for the film .
Montreal has received development funding from the Red Sea Fund, and it also won a prize in the development competition for the Red Sea Film Festival 2021. The expected budget is $1.3 million.
“Sync” by Jordanian director Zain Drei. The film tells the story of a 45-year-old Jordanian woman, Nadia, who is in the midst of a midlife crisis, which leads to the breakdown of her marriage. As her 17-year-old son’s mental health deteriorates, she is pushed to the brink of insanity.
In the production notes, Duraie says, “This movie comes from a very deep place, inspired by my family’s tragedy. I have always wondered what the rules mean in our societies and how we talk about the stigma of mental illness in the Arab world.”
“Sink” is a co-production between Jordan, Sweden, Canada and France. Alaa El-Asaad is producing through Creative Media Solutions subsidiary Tabi360, in co-production with Sahar El-Youssef of Nava Projects, Helene Granqvist of Nordic Factory and Gabrielle Dumont of Le Bureau.
Al-Asad also produced Drei’s second short film, “Giving Away the Ghost,” which premiered in competition in Venice in 2021, and won the award for Best Arab Short Film at the El Gouna Film Festival.
“Sink” has been submitted to the Red Sea Lodge residency program in 2021. Creative Media Solutions producers Bassam and Alaa Al-Assaad say nearly 50% of the funding has been secured, including support from the Royal Film Commission Jordan, as well as support from Malmö Arab Film Fund. PIC will be jointly produced by France and Sweden.
Creative Media Solutions is an integrated media company, with 120 employees, providing technical services to the media, producing and distributing films in the Middle East. He was a minority co-producer on Andrés Vicente Gómez’s 2019 Saudi production of “Born a King” by Agustí Villaronga.
“We were a small partner on Born a King, which was a huge film to put together, especially in a country that doesn’t have a tradition of filmmaking,” explains Bassam al-Assad. “We are so glad we were a part of it – it was a very nice learning experience. I was always learning something new.”
The owner and CEO of Creative Media Solutions is Ghassan Al-Assad, and his three younger brothers – Bashar, Bassam and Alaa – are responsible for creative direction, management and distribution respectively.
The company is also a partner in the Greener Screen initiative, which aims to promote environmentally friendly production practices in the Middle East.