Within Sand director Moe Alatawi

survival for its lead character, a young man by the name of Snam

who is played by newcomer Ra’ed Alshammari? Snam is ambushed by thieves in the deserted terrain, and he is left with only a knife to survive. Due to the breathtaking Neom location where it was shot, Within Sand feels like a blockbuster. The Red Sea is never far away, and tall, sandy rock formations and desert dunes mix together. Within Sand director Moe Alatawi

On Thursday, December 8, it won the jury prize at the second RSIFF.

So, how does a young filmmaker in a country with a young film industry overcome obvious obstacles to producing a film of this size?

Alatawi asserts, “I think filmmaking is challenging in general, regardless of the location where you shoot.” It’s all about the influence. Alatawi attributes his ability to “create that sense of a larger-than-life environment” to the fact that his producers had worked out all the details.

The Saudi-born filmmaker received assistance from Neom, whom he describes as “vital for this production,” and the Saudi Film Commission through its Daw Film Competition. Alatawi says that Neom supported Within Sand “logistically and financially” in addition to the location support the production received, which included a hotel-like facility built specifically for the cast and crew near the set. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has envisioned Neom as a $500 billion megacity with filming infrastructure.

According to him, his path to becoming a filmmaker was not “linear,” but rather “a very organic process.” He recollects:

When I was very young, around the age of nine or ten, my mother would give me a camcorder and ask me to make films. I wanted to study engineering and then law. The film version of Steven Spielberg’s own mother, Mitzi Fabelman, in the US filmmaker’s personal new work, The Fabelmans, is easy to compare.

Within Sand director Moe Alatawi has high manufacturing costs:

The wolf wrangler on the set was from Hungary, and the two wolves used in the shoot are Mongolian, despite the fact that the majority of his crew and all of his actors are from Saudi Arabia. Allawi admits, “so we contacted them and they had two Mongolian wolves, which have the most similarities with the Arabian wolves, they share similar color and some features.” “We didn’t find proper wrangling facilities here in Saudi Arabia with Arabian wolves.”

Alatawi had to work with non-professionals once more because he was working in a young industry and needed to find actors. The Saudi director found the methods taught by Copti, who used non-actors in the 2009 film Ajami, which he co-directed, to be “very beneficial.” Prior to the shoot, Alatawi collaborated with Snam’s co-star Ra’ed Alshammari and his friend Awad’s co-star Obaid Alwadaani “on a daily basis for four months straight, with an acting coach.” According to Alatawi, who wanted to use “many other first-time actors in the film” for authenticity and “that was the point for me, to introduce new cinematic faces to the film industry,” both young actors had the talent.

Alatawi admits that he “probably wouldn’t do another film in the desert anytime soon, but if I were to do one, I would have a different approach because now I understand the challenges that may arise.” He also says that he “probably wouldn’t do another film in the desert anytime soon.” World News Entertainment

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