Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Carpet

Ramadan is here, and with it comes a new wave of Arab and especially Khaliji TV series and dramas.

One would expect that Gulf production companies, having produced hundreds of shows, have improved over all this time. Unfortunately that is not the case. The TV shows this year, as was the case last year, are only repetitive melodramas or nonsensical farce shows that are not worthy of the time one wastes watching them, despite the fact that they spend a year making them.

Film and TV is a lost art in the region, with the exception of Egypt, hardly any country has developed any noteworthy shows or films. The TV shows tend to play on the viewers need for tragedy and are produced in a way that dramatizes the simplest moments, they are mostly predictable and can lead to usually one of two scenarios: Everyone dies at the end; or every one is saved by some sort of far-fetched "deus ex machina" and all are happy in the end.

Despite the shortcomings of Egyptian TV series and film, they have developed a certain style and standard, unlike the Khaliji productions which are limited to over-acting by cosmetic-surgery-modified actors (I say modified and not enhanced because these surgeries did not always result in any better looking actors or especially actresses).

The sad part is that there are a lot of promising talent in the region who do not get their chance. Recently The General Organization for Youth and Sport (GOYS) organized a competition called "Red Carpet" this year - in its second edition - there were 5 teams of aspiring film makers. They started with hundreds of candidates who participated in some workshops about film, script and film making. They choose out of them 5 teams of 10, with each team working on a short movie. The end result was very promising, with short time and limited resources the teams produced 5 good movies. Granted some movies were significantly better than others and some movies had some technical issues, but all were commendable and are a testament to what the talented youth can achieve if you give them the opportunity even with limited resources. GOYS has done good in this aspect. Hopefully they will give more support to this field that is in need of much development.

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