New Emirati thriller ‘Nyctophobia’ hits cinemas this month

“Nyctophobia,” a new short psychological thriller from Emirati writer and director Tariq Al-Kazim. (Supplied)
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Updated 31 January 2020

New Emirati thriller ‘Nyctophobia’ hits cinemas this month

  • The film tells the story of Julia, a writer who has rented a secluded farmhouse in Al Ain to focus on her work
  • It later becomes clear that she is not alone in the house — and all the doors are mysteriously locked

DUBAI: “Nyctophobia,” a new short psychological thriller from Emirati writer and director Tariq Al-Kazim, will screen in selected cinemas in February. 

The film tells the story of Julia (played by Heba Al-Hamwi), a writer who has rented a secluded farmhouse in Al Ain to focus on her work. But it quickly becomes clear that she is not alone in the house — and all the doors are mysteriously locked.

Actor Robert Cristian Trif plays the man who is ‘sharing’ the space with Julia. In a press release, Trif said, “(I play) a disturbing man who tries to win over the woman, and plays with her mind. But ultimately we discover both our characters meet a cruel ending.” He added that it is his first time “playing in a horror film.”




“Nyctophobia” is Al-Kazim’s 14th film, and the director told Arab News that the idea for this one came from personal experience. (Supplied)

Al-Kazim told Arab News that he has been a fan of horror movies since he was a child. “I used to watch movies like “IT” and “Psycho” and I was curious as to why they scared me. Since then I’ve been developing horror films as a way to create the same feelings I had watching those films.”

“Nyctophobia” (an extreme fear of darkness) is Al-Kazim’s 14th film, and the director told Arab News that the idea for this one came from personal experience. 

“As a child I was scared of the dark and I wanted people to feel the same,” he said. “I had that feeling ever since I can remember. I used to turn on the lamps in the room before going to bed or had my mother leave the door slightly open with the lights beaming in. I overcame the fear slowly as I grew up, acknowledging that whether there was light or not, it didn’t make a difference. 




The movie will screen in selected cinemas in February. (Supplied)

“The first few days were terrifying,” he continued, “but eventually I managed to overcome the fear.”

Al-Hamwi feels the story is “symbolic of … how these fears stand in our way throughout life.”

“When we let those fears overwhelm us, they take over and metaphorically kill us,” she said in the press release. 


Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra to speak at Sharjah forum

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has starred in more than 60 films and won multiple acting awards. (File/AFP)
Updated 25 February 2020

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra to speak at Sharjah forum

DUBAI: Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been announced as a guest speaker on the opening day of the 9th edition of Sharjah’s International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) on March 4 at the city’s Expo Center.

The Bollywood star and UNICEF Goodwill ambassador will lead a discussion on the impact of films and TV programs on shaping the public opinion during a talk entitled “Why Does the Screen Have so Much Impact on Public Opinion.”

A highly accomplished actress, Chopra Jonas has starred in more than 60 films and won multiple acting awards throughout her successful career, which makes her an ideal choice to discuss the power of visual media at the upcoming forum.

The session will be moderated by Lebanese television presenter and journalist Raya Abi Rached.