Dubai-based Indian filmmaker, Zenofar Fathima.
Raghib Hassan, Staff Reporter
Known for making social-centric films, Dubai-based Indian filmmaker, producer and actress Zenofar Fathima has always managed to create an impact with her kind of short films. All her films in the past, like “Selfie,” “Inertia,” “The Pit,” “The Peril,” “The Peril 1” and “The Power” have managed to touch the hearts and minds of the audience. Even Bollywood stars like Sohail Khan, Mukul Dev and Sonu Sood have high regard for Zenofar’s work.
When the entire world is going though difficult times, Zenofar has decided to present another socially relevant short film, “HOPE.” Her film definitely offers a ray of hope and resilience to cope with such unprecedented times.
Zenofar’s Zen Film Productions has produced a new PSA video during the coronavirus pandemic on depression and suicidal tendencies.
The PSA does not only raise awareness for those struggling with depression and negative thoughts, but does so through taking into account specific hardships people are currently facing, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Talking about the film, she said, “I hope this PSA can resonate with everyone who feels like this coronavirus has ruined a lot of future plans — whether it is a job or not being able to communicate with family and more. But the key message I want to tell people is no matter what — find that one reason to stay alive, and always choose life.”
How did you get the idea of HOPE?
Well after the coronavirus broke out I was privy to a lot of what was happening around me. Everyday I’d see a new post on social media about someone losing their job, another person who committed suicide, and other people who were very depressed because they had to distance themselves from their loved ones or did not see any positivity in the future. So when I saw this happening, it occurred to me that there is more to life than feeling depressed, suicidal and low.
Because why die every-day when we are all going to die anyway? We should live life to the fullest, and when we feel dejected and like we can’t take it anymore, we must guide our mind to think about what we treasure most. That was the message in Hope, which basically tells everyone that if you do suffer from negative thoughts and depression, think about who or what you love the most and use that as a reason to live.
How challenging is it to make a short film?
I would say it’s quite challenging because it’s all about propagating a significant message in a method that is succinct and enjoyable at the same time. As you know, people are busy and don’t always have that much time to watch full feature films. So whenever I create a short film, it’s all about doing it in less than ten minutes, promoting a social message and also teaching a lesson to others within a few minutes. There are multiple objectives a short film has to achieve, but even if it is difficult, I wouldn’t call it impossible.
Since you have been making social-centric films, what message do you have for kids in these challenging times?
I know a lot of kids are also quite frustrated with the quarantine and this entire situation. My advice to the children, and moreover to the parents, is to use this time to be with your family. And parents should try and engage with kids who might feel confused and scared during these times. Educate them on what is going on but don’t scare them, bring them to a more positive side.
HOPE has lovely background music. It’s the first time you have experimented with Indian music. Tell us something about this experiment.
Well this song is not our song, but this song is actually very close to my heart and its meaning is very emotional. It is definitely not the first time that I have experimented with Indian music. In the past I’ve acted, directed and produced a music video where I sang a rendition of “Dil Ke Armaan,” and that was one of the times I’ve experimented with Indian music.
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