my films

I’m an indie/experimental filmmaker based in Saudi Arabia. My films explore the absurdity of reality. These films were only made possible by the tireless efforts of amazing friends & volunteers passionate about bringing art to life!

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Hair: The Story of Grass (2018) شعر: قصة عشب

Abandoned by her prince, an Arabian Cinderella is left serving guests. Meanwhile, her mentally-challenged warden attempts to escape the body of the hairy grown up he is trapped in. < film pageIMDB>

بعد أن تخلى عنها أميرها، تخدم سندريلا الضيوف، بينما يحاول بيتربان الفرار من الجسد الذي حُبس فيه

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“Hair: The Story of Grass [..] navigates a culture struggling with ancient taboos and modern beauty standards. But also, female oppression. And double standards in gender roles. And the treatment of the mentally ill. And consumerism culture.” -Enrique Acosta, Film Threat

 “فلم “شعر: قصة عشب” […] يتجول في ثقافة تتصادم فيها الممنوعات القديمة مع معايير الجمال الحديثة. وكذلك ازدواجية المعايير في التعامل مع  الجنسين، ومعاملة المصابين بأمراض عقلية، وثقافة الاستهلاك”  – إنريكي أكوستا، مجلة فلم ثريت 

 

 

Discussing the short film “Hair: The Story of Grass” with NewFilmmakers LA’s Chair Danny DeLillo (Stage 5 interview presented by MovieMaker Magazine)

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Cycle of apples (2019) دورة التفاح

Set in a Disney-esque island populated by obedient princesses, unfolds a fairytale gone wrong. Snow White forms a friendship with a talking ram, but fearing that death will keep them apart, she seeks the apple of eternal life to avoid their inevitable separation <film pageIMDB>

في جزيرة لا تسكنها إلا النساء ، تصادق فتاة كبشا. عندما تخشى أن يفرقهما الموت، تسعى للحصول على تفاحة الحياة الأبدية.

 

“EAT ME: CYCLE OF APPLES is a fable of women’s suffering, inspired by Eve’s “forbidden apple” in the Garden of Eden, and Snow White […] with its urgent and all-too-timely message about the cycle of abuse against women” – TIFF x Instagram

” فلم ” كليني: دورة تفاح” أسطورة تجسد معاناة النساء، مستوحاة من تفاحة حواء وقصة سنو وايت.. يحمل رسالة عن العنف ضد المرأة” – انستقرام مهرجان تورونتو السينمائي

 

View this post on Instagram

Maha Al-Saati (@elosnest)’s brilliant EAT ME: CYCLE OF APPLES is a fable of women’s suffering, inspired by Eve’s “forbidden apple” in the Garden of Eden, and Snow White. Filmed in Saudi Arabia, it could be set anywhere in the world today, with its urgent and all-too-timely message about the cycle of abuse against women — best viewed on a loop for full effect. 🍎 “I aspire to keep on truly exploring what it means to be a female in the changing landscape of Saudi Arabia.” 📽 Keep voting (by liking ❤️) for your favourite #TIFFxInstagram shorts from now til July 18 to help crown the Audience Award winner. . . . . #shortfilm #filmfestival #director #editor #cinematographer #digitalshort #saudiarabia #womeninfilm #femalefilmmakers #womensrights #gardenofeden #apple

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Zeina Nassereddine (Vocalist) speaks about Cycle of Apples after its screening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at New Filmmakers LA Middle Eastern Cinema event in partnership with the Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI), 14 Dec 2019

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Fear: Audibly (2017) الخوف: صوتيا

Anxious that Judgment Day is on the horizon, Amal keenly awaits to hear the Trumpet of Doom; One day, unexpected guests invade her office space to confirm her fears. Could the incessant mewing of cats in her office be the first sign?< film pageIMDB>

بينما تلوح علامات القيامة في الأفق، تنتظر أمل سماع الصوت الذي سينهي البشرية. في خضم صراعها مع أحاسيس الخوف والذنب، يغزو ضيوف غير متوقعين مقر عملها

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“Fear: Audibly places us in a zone of auditory discomfort before discombobulating further through a tale of media allure and the clash of the natural and man-made..” – Siddhant Adlakha, Birth.Movies.Death

“يضعنا” الخوف صوتيا” في مساحات من الإزعاج السماعي قبل إلقاءنا في قصة عن الإفتتان بصوت [شاعر]، وصراع مابين قوى الطبيعة والتمدن… ” – سيدهانت ادلاكا من مجلة “ولادة.أفلام.موت

 

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A Trip to Disney (2021)

A woman travels from Makkah to Florida to be with her Saudi love-interest after he has left without saying goodbye. (Feature, Pre-Production, 2021) < film page >.

 

“Finding herself in the Disney empire,” […] Disney World in Orlando, the film’s protagonist “discovers she is not his princess …” – Variety

“عندما تجد نفسها في إمبراطورية ديزني […] عالم ديزني في أورلاندو، تدرك بطلة الفلم  أنها لم تكن يوما أميرة [أحلامه]” – مجلة فارايتي 

 

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This feature has been selected for development at the Red Sea Lodge in collaboration with the TorinoFilmLab (Announcements by Variety, ScreenDaily). This absurdist, romantic comedy tells the story of coming of age story at 40.

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She took everything, but.. (2018)

A man finds himself a victim of an ugly divorce, so he plots revenge from his ex-wife in the heat of the Summer. (Inspired by a true amazon review). The 30 sec version was featured in the Fantastic Fest 2018 bumper contest.

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e-pidemic (2018) آفة إلكترونية

A group of anonymous twitter accounts attack Ghassan on twitter, placing him in the midst of a vicious cyberbullying battle

تقتحم مجموعة أسماء وهمية هدوء عالم غسان على تويتر، فيجد نفسه في مواجهة شرسة أمام تنمرهم الإلكتروني.

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The film screened on Qomrah 3 Show, MBC 1, June 11th, 2018 (Ramadan 26th, 1439 h.). Screenplay by Saad Al-Motham. Starring: Faisal Al-Shaheen, Mansour Al-Nasser, Abdullah Haidar, Abdulhalim Al-Nami. Posters that appear in the backgrounds are by Dana Al-Arifi, Layla AlKhalifah, Shooq Almuzaial, Batool Alalwyat. listen to the e-crime song from the film.

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There’s Something about Alya (2020)

An Arab girl leaves her irresponsible Ex to stay at an Airbnb with two white guys trying to get her attention in unusual ways, including racist jokes.

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VHS TAPE, REPLACED (2021) شريط فيديو تبدل

Set in 1985, a young black Saudi man attempts to impress his crush by mimicking Prince. This film explores racial identity in a time of analog media. < winner of Daw film competition >

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EDITOR WORK

Al-Tanaii (2019) التنائي

“A middle aged man, desperate for money and on the verge of losing his memory is lost in the desert to confront his past mistakes.” I worked on this project as an editor. Director: Kanakaraj Balasubramanyam, DP: Arulsakthi Sankar Jayaprathaban

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Last Time (2019) آخر مرة

“A Motivational speaker resorts to drugs to boost his energy, but when all is going well with his speech, things take a wrong turn. ” A PSA for a no-drug competition. I was also Assistant Director, Co-Screenwriter, Co-Editor and Sound Designer. Film directed by Feras Almusharrie (CinemaTiki). <watch video>

 

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RANDOM THOUGHTS

(and other existential crises)

 

The Language of Cats (2018) لغة البساس

هل تفضل تعرف إنك تعرف؟ أو تعرف إنك ما تعرف؟ أو ما تعرف إنك ما تعرف؟ فيديو يروي قصة بستنا الشخصية مع تأملات في موضوع التطور اللغوي عند المخلوق المدعو انسان

Would you prefer to know that you know? or know that you don’t know, or don’t know that you don’t know? The story of our cats in making me realize the importance of linguistic evolution in human beings.

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“How many cats do you have, Auntie Maha?”

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Existential Questions at a Networking Event

Do you also feel awkward at events designed for extroverts where you’re supposed to be grasping all those  opportunities? You will never look at sperm biology in a non-capitalist way again after this video.

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My Feet are too far away!

A documentary exploring the unexplored issue of the inconvenience of feet distance. People need to talk about this more often.

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Snow White sleeps in a Star Wars Universe

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CoronaVirus and Toiletpaper

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Group Passout (2018) غيبوبة جماعية

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Snickers Wants to be a Horse

Are you looking for an excuse to make a quick video with a queen song? New Years seems like a pretty legit reason!

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POETIC SHORTS

Too beautiful to eat (2018)

“Butterflies are too beautiful to eat” (2018), even ants realize this. Our home is infested with ants that come marching every time I kill a fly or a bug happens to die.. yesterday, I found a dead butterfly. I brought it home and they didn’t even touch it.. I wondered if it was too beautiful to eat.

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Questioning by the two-necked (unfinished)

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What does a virgin and her child mean to you on the streets of NoHo? (2019)

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Was I Her, or was she Me?

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Staring at the Fluorescent Skies

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The Vast Undeveloped Lands

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Darkness Upon Darkness نشيد كرة الأرض تدور، فظلام، فظلام، فظلام

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Three Silent Billboards of Iskan

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Plastic Dystopia (2016)

The tale of a city that falls under the curse of the creature that never dies: Plastic. This short musical documentary is an experimental exploration of the effect plastic waste is affecting our cities. قصة مدينة وقعت تحت لعنة مخلوق لا يموت أبدا: البلاستك

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Wicked Beach (2018)

I took this footage when i was alone on this Jubail beach being polluted by some weird liquid poured by pipes. I found the song that best suited my feelings then. Maybe it’s 1989 Cliche but Chris Isaac’s “wicked games” felt familiar in a nostalgic way.. though I don’t recall being formally introduced to it before.

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HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Nazera’s Big Break (2016) نقطة تحول نزيرة

A typical house wife embraces an athletic lifestyle, and tries to make a difference in the lives of those around her.

مرت نزيرة بنقطة تحولت فيها من ربة منزل اعتيادية لأم تعتنق أسلوبا رياضيا للحياة، وتحاول أن تحدث فرقا إيجابيا في محيطها. حلقة قمرة الكاملة عن موضوع الرياضة، والتي عرضت بتاريخ ٣٠ رمضان ١٤٣٦ الموافق ٦ يوليو ٢٠١٦، كما عرضت نبذة عن حلقتنا في أول حلقة لقمرة في الدقيقة ٤:٤٤

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Nostalgia: The Story of a Building (2015, 3:25 min) نوستالجيا: قصة مبنى

تروي علياء قصة رغبتها بأن تصبح مصممة منذ أن كانت في الصف الخامس ابتدائي.

This short biographical documentary tells the story of Alya, a student who graduated from UOD’s College of Design in the Summer of 2015. She narrates the story of how she dreamed of studying design as a child by reflecting on her memories while visiting the abandoned old building.

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Elo’s Nest (2016) عُش إيلو

بينما تلعب صديقتان بالدمى تظهر امرأة غريبة لتخبرهن عن أسطورة أسوانق الفلبينية، والتي ينفصل رأسها عن جسدها للبحث عن دماء البشر. يحرك الفضول إحداهن للبحث عن عش هذا الوحش في حقول مجاورة، فتضطر صديقتها لمواجهة مخاوفها الدفينة.

As two friends play with their dolls, a mysterious woman appears to tell them the myth of the headless Aswang. The girls venture into the fields near the abandoned houses to find this creature’s nest.

Screenings: This was my very first short narrative film. I hope I’ve developed a lot since then. It screened at the 3rd Saudi Film Festival on March 25th, 2016; The Bare Bones International Music & Film Festival, Oklahoma, USA Apr 20th, 2017; The Saudi TV channel Sat 7 April 2018.

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* Search Keywords: Film – Filmmaker – Director – Cinema – Arab – Saudi – Arabia – Canada – Female – Woman – Women – Underground – Indie – Independent – Experimental – Genre- After Night- Midnight screening – Islam – Islamic – Muslim – مها الساعاتي – مها ساعاتي – Maha El Saati – Maha Saati – Maha Alsa