The short film is about a Middle Eastern man trying to get through airport security in a dystopian future.
‘Border’, directed by Khalifa Al-Thani, has won a Silver award in the ‘Short Films’ category at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.
The film was awarded at a virtual ceremony on April 26. This year’s edition featured films and television shows from 42 countries. The jury for the festival consisted of 200 producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from all around the world.
The movie is set in a dystopian future in which masks are mandatory and a harsh system is in place that closely observes people’s every move. Al-Thani told Al-Rayya that he was inspired to make this movie three years ago, before Covid-19 became part of our daily lives.
“I am very happy that my film won the Silver Award, especially as it discusses the issue of racial profiling, a topic that many in the region struggle with when travelling through international airports,” said Al-Thani.
“The film belongs to the category of science fiction, through Mohamed, who is trying to cross the borders to see his family, but he must first understand the rules and regulations of the new world. In the context of events, he does his best to follow this complex system, but this journey is not an easy one. At every turn, Mohamed faces institutional indifference and growing doubts about his history and intentions. Judgments quickly become biased in a world where everyone has been reduced to colour codes.”
The Qatari director won the Doha Film Institute’s Fall Grants 2018 cycle and made the film collaboration with them and Edge. It premiered as part of the Ajyal Film Festival 2021.
Following the beginning of the pandemic, a new vision for the film industry emerged as the shares of digital media increased. They now have a major presence at film festivals, and the lockdown period changed the shape of the festivals, making them entirely reliant on virtual awards ceremonies.
The Doha Film Institute, which organises the annual Ajyal Film Festival, has established itself as a breeding ground for new cinematic voices.
The New York Festivals TV & Film Awards usually recognise content from more than 50 nations in various lengths and formats. They reward the creatives who reflect today’s global trends in hopes of inspiring the next generation of storytellers.
The awards has 14 category groups, including News Programs, News Reports/Features, Sports Programs, Documentary, Student, Films, Corporate Image, and more.
“We need to learn and develop our skills in filmmaking, and here in Qatar we have a golden opportunity, as the most prominent filmmakers come here every year to provide us with their cinematic experiences. We must learn through them how we can market our work outside the regional borders, especially as there are many stories that circulate in our environment,” added Al-Thani.
“They need to be told to the world in the form of cinematic works. So, we have to work on investing and developing these concepts that we learn to fulfil our aspirations in this field, and reach the best level and compete in international forums and global competitions,” he added.