RIYADH: It will be “a huge honor” for Tala Al-Harbi when her directorial debut “When Red Blooms” is screened at the Red Sea International Film Festival on Dec. 5.
“I believe it can add to my credibility as a director and can help me build up a career in the Saudi film industry,” the 19-year-old director told Arab News.
“When Red Blooms” is a philosophical film that ventures into the mind of a girl who sets unrealistically high expectations for herself with a morbid perfectionism, leading to self-destruction.
“‘When Red Blooms” is a film that may represent different things to different people. To me, the film represents the struggle we all face as humans and how society expects us to be perfect, but we all face our own conflicts — with the world around us and ourselves,” Al-Harbi said.
Al-Harbi was one of the winners of the second edition of the Red Sea’s 48-hour Filmmaking Challenge, which was held in September.
“It was truly a surreal feeling as I was surrounded by the team that helped me make the film possible: Madawi Al-Yahya, Natalie Al-Sarraj, Lujain Salaam, Raghdaa Mubarak, Sam Al-Ashari, and our amazing actress Raghad Bokhari,” Al-Harbi told Arab News.
The director said that one of her team’s most significant challenges was having to write a story, shoot it and edit it in only 48 hours.
“We had to put our all into the film in the short 48 hours we had.”
“We had many ideas, but with the limited time we had, we needed to work quickly and efficiently to produce something we are proud of,” she said.
As filmmaking students, Al-Harbi and her team always wanted to create something that could show their style and vision “without the limitations of our studies.” The competition was the perfect opportunity for them “to see what we could on our own.”
Al-Harbi advised aspiring directors to believe in themselves, even if others did not. “If you believe in yourself, you can truly accomplish anything,” she said.