“Winning this competition was really a confidence boost,” revealed 22-year-old Makki, the recent graduate of King Abdulaziz University. “For the past 15 years, I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a director.”
So much so, that everything he knows about film, Makki taught himself. “They didn’t have film as a major at my university, so I read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies,” he said with a confident smile.
His drive and passion apparently paid off. Makki heard about the competition through a friend and followed-up on it via Facebook. He decided to turn in a short film that he had conjured up, while jogging around his house. He then wrote a synopsis and handed in the trailer.
“Anggi's winning film was so impressive in that it explored local issues, empowered a local cast and engaged a local audience. As a writer, director and producer, Anggi showed great initiative and dedication, which we felt deserved recognition,” stated Stephen Stapleton, Founder of Edge of Arabia, the organization behind the Arts and Creativity category of the competition.
“In a society where film-making is still very much an outsider profession, Anggi deserves credit for following his passion to tell stories and inspire his peers,” added Stapleton.
“His film submission was executed at amazingly high quality and the content was so relevant to his reality and surroundings as a young Saudi man,” revealed Manal Al Dowayan, a Saudi artist herself, and judge of the MCY competition.
The narrative of “Frozen Dance” follows a boy’s determination to win a marathon for the prize money, which would pay for his dying father’s life-saving operation. “The plot came to me as I was jogging near my house,” explained Makki. “Actually, the music I was jogging to makes up most of the soundtrack.”
Makki often refers to his film as his “baby,” revealing a dedication and deep intimacy of the project, in which he was involved from pre-conception to birth. Every detail of the film, from writing the script to post-production editing, had Makki’s intuitive auteur touch implanted upon it.
This type of comprehensive involvement and experimentation of numerous creative outlets is the reason why this young director loves the medium of film so intensely. “I love movies because they symbolize a collaboration of everything photos, art, music, writing and even fashion!”
Talking with Makki, you can’t help find his fervor for film contagious, his relentless drive admirable and his persistent pursuit of perfection endearing. Yet, it’s the screen that places a conscious visual to the emerging talent’s infectious enthusiasm — one that is appropriately representative of the creative youth of Saudi Arabia.
“I was taken back by the level of uniqueness of works and the statements being made in the artworks,” revealed Al Dowayan about the submissions received for the competition. “The participants were truly using creativity to express themselves.”
“I am so happy that SAGIA initiated this prize. Creativity and art are essential corner stones to a progressive society,” she added.