film + art + design

So, you’ve made it to my digital space! I’m an independent / experimental filmmaker who strives to make [no- or low-budget] films & videos in an increasingly commercial world! My films explore the absurdity of reality, and the fantastical intersection of belief and dream. I also teach media-related courses [check side tabs]. Below, I selectively showcase some of my work complemented by the director’s commentary. Be warned, wanderer, as you venture through this website, this is not an exhaustive portfolio, I showcase samples based on whether there’s a story worth telling about them.


narrative film


e-pidemic (2018, 6:20 min) آفة إلكترونية

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

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



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


Hair: The Story of Grass (2018, 15 min) شعر: قصة عشب 

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

Abandoned by her prince, Cinderella is left serving guests. Meanwhile, Peter pan attempts to escape the body of the hairy grown up he is trapped in.



Fear: Audibly (2017, 22:27 min) الخوف: صوتيا

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

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?   IMDB pageSynopsis




SCREENINGS: The 4th Saudi Film Festival in Dhahran (27 March 2017 – 1 April 2017) / The German Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (20 Sep 2017) / Fantastic Fest, Austin, TX, USA (21-28 Sep 2017) / The Arab Film Festival of Rotterdam (11-15 Oct 2017) / Official selection and nominated for best director, best actress in the 2nd short film competition by the King Fahd Cultural Center (KFCC) in Riyadh (22 Jan 2018) ; Best Screenplay Award at Ahsa Short Social Film Festival (12-14 April, 2018), the Golden Falcon Awards at the Dutch Embassy of Riyadh (17-18 April, 2018) ***  COVERAGE: Fear Audibly and the mysterious emotions of sound By Siddhand Adlakha / Fantastic Shorts by Women by Clara Mae / An interview with Yacob Almarzoog on برنامج “فني جدا” / A Reading on Fear Audibly by Mohammed Salman / روتردام للفيلم العربي».. افتتاح مصري وختام فلسطيني – بقلم: بسنت حسن *****  Poster Design by Suad Alduailej


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


Elo’s Nest (2016, 10 min) 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.


عش ايلو مهرجان الافلام السعودية.jpg

Screenings: The film 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. < watch it here >.



Entering is not like Exiting (2017) دخول الحمام مو زي خروجه: 

In his attempt to land an acting role, a man falls into the trap of a man-hating woman seeking revenge.

أثناء محاولة رجل الحصول على دور تمثيلي، اكتشف أنه وقع في كمين امرأة تنوي الانتقام من الرجال




Nazera’s Big Break (2016) (3 min) نقطة تحول نزيرة: 

مرت نزيرة بنقطة تحولت فيها من ربة منزل اعتيادية لأم تعتنق أسلوبا رياضيا للحياة، وتحاول أن تحدث فرقا إيجابيا في محيطها.

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

هنا هي 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

Yep, we had to spread this poster around social media. I realized that asking people to vote for us is like a popularity contest. u’d think social awkwardness should have ended upon graduating from high school! I finished editing this short documentary on March 10th, 2016. It was submitted to the Qomrah show, hosted by Ahmad Al-Shugairi, and aired on MBC on the 30th of Ramadan 1437 (6 Jul 2016).



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.




 لغة البساس The Language of Cats (2017) :

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.


I made fun of a guy for using hotmail (2017) with the googlization of everything comes a price: our privacy is at risk as google spies on our email. We make jokes about people still using hotmail, but the joke is actually on us.


A designated area for women (2017) is often a phrase that accompanies many gender-segregated events in Saudi Arabia. With the increasing empowerment of women in Saudi, this phrase might go extinct, but this is a homage for those good ol’ times.




The images below are screenshots of short interactive/generative artworks i’ve made using java processing during my first year at SIAT/SFU (IAT800 course) in 2006. Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of how technology ages fast and fails us, as the  java *.pde files no longer work on browsers anymore, but click here to view the code if you feel you must!


holding the light on (with the cursor) will gather the moths in spirals, hovering the mouse while the light is off will send them scattered in the darkness.


typing will generate loops of text



Kitty stares at the bulb as you turn it on/off by clicking.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.32.16 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.32.28 PM

The random paint brush software features samosa attacks and other fun – but pretty deterministic- brushes to choose from.


Jeddah: An interactive artwork (Flash)

The background art of this interactive artwork consist of collage art and stylized photography (of the old town of Jeddah). I wanted to portray a dystopian vision of the destruction and decay that has befallen this once beautiful town. The flash piece explored how both backgrounds and the cursor can change in accordance with the movement to foreshadow possible events based on the path you choose to go. This was project I developed during the IAT 813 Computational Poetics class I took with Maia Engeli in 2007. Below is my 1-minute madness presentation video for a poster I’ve submitted to the ICEC 2011 in Vancouver.






Once upon a time I was an architecture student. For my master thesis (2006), I analyzed conventional houses in Saudi Arabia and designed a building structure -based on N. J. Habraken’s support system- that would allow multiple uses of the spaces, including housing and shops.



I also worked on a few booth designs before deciding i no longer want to work in interior design and decided to pursue an academic career in relation to the film/moving images. Working for clients was simply not for me.




My bachelor of interior architecture project (2003) in which i redesigned the King Fahd library in Riyadh into an art academy.




An expo designed for various companies.



Designed back when traditionally-inspired majlises’ were “in” in Saudi Arabia. Come to think about it, they probably are still “in” for many people. Stepping back in time in a space just outside in your front yard is  a pretty appealing illusion for many people.





Of course, where would I be without my hand sketches, my oldest passion? Here are some of the ones I managed to save from the destruction of time. The one right below is a sketch I worked on while I was a TA in design studio for 2nd year students in 2005. The project was a mural, and a-back-then-student, Nora Saud, chose a medieval mural theme. I very much prefer my sketch before it was colored. Some things should just remain in black and white.


Below, you’ll find a hand-drawn brochure influenced by Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, for the “life is a stranger” Muslim youth conference in Vancouver in 2009 or so (if I remember correctly). I had fun drawing the little a3rabi (bedouin) roaming the desert. It’s a Muslim conference, of course the cartoon has to wear ancient jelbaab clothing and a turban and roam around the desert! Talk about self-orientalization! Afterwards, I completely lost faith in the print medium after I saw my hours of hard-work turn into cheap print paper, thrown and stepped on by teenage conference goers. Some teens sitting in the back were reading the catch phrases mockingly, which deeply annoyed me, but taught me a lesson about the designer/audience divide.  This is not to mention that I turned into an environmentalist shortly after and now oppose the killing of trees a.k.a. the use of paper unless absolutely necessary. It was the last time I’d design something to be executed in the form of disposable physical design. I’m very happy with video as a medium, thank you very much.



The design below was done before a friend told me CVs have to be formal, printable and in black and white. Nevertheless, I thought the butterfly and eye-ball flower were pretty, and had to place them here anyway.


An aborted sketch for an animation project on the forbidden fruit. I’ve always been fascinated by the many versions of the story of origin and the varying take-aways from the story -changing with times. The debate around what fruit it was fascinating to me, and here I tried to invent something that was almost an apple but not quite (the Muslim version insisted it was not an apple).



Back in 2003/2004, I was still trying to discover who I was in life-after-college. I tried to exhibit my work in a winter bazaar (later found out people only go there for the food), and an art exhibition at an “all-American” compound in Saudi Arabia. The organizer thought these sketches were too “macabre”, and  I realized later that the type of art they were looking was one that fit the orientalist image of the Arabian Peninsula: the vast desert, the tent, the women in burqaa weaving baskets and the men in turbans handling falcons.




Yet other lesson about life and audience expectations. As for what happened to my sketches after my deep disappointment, I guess nothing’s too macabre for the democratic spaces of the internet -thank God. The physical sketches now hang on our corridor and living room walls at home, macabreness contained within slick IKEA frames. Mom’s either proud of her daughter’s skills, or she just wanted anything to fill the empty walls. And no they don’t even match the couches, but that’s another story.


8-bit art


I’ve recently become interested in animated gifs and 8-bit art. It’s an art form that requires patience, but working with the limitations is a challenge I enjoy. I might upload more in the future. After watching the lightning video [at the beginning of this post], you’ll realize, especially after having to take a course with me in motion design/video, is that I love musical videos and enjoy syncing imagery to beats. I don’t dance, but I enjoy making images do.



Yes, the camel should move its legs, but I didn’t realize how time consuming pixel art is until I actually started working on it. I had to make sacrifices, the camel ended up gliding.


This last one was cell-drawn and pixel-colored each of the 8 positions of the dancer. The background isn’t very convincing, more like Tide-ish, but I’ll make do with it for now.


public talks


I have  also given a few workshops and public talks on issues relating to the moving image and media theory. The latest being for the Misk Stories event in Alshargiyah on Dec 24th, 2016.


@2:28 <and a list of public talks >


please insert disk 22 in drive A: and press ENTER
C:\> Abort, Retry, Fail? > R_
C:\> Abort, Retry, Fail? F_
C:\> Abort, Retry, Fail? F$%#$%#$^$^#_

\|/    (o.o)    \|/
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{That’s all, folks!!}*

*original ASCII mouse image in this post is by Greets h0nk www. h0nk .org (with modifications)