THE OPEN WATER SWIM TRAVERSE was the winner of BEST SHORT FILM at the February 2021 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
As an outdoor filmmaker, adventure is always a huge interest. There’s a pleasure in setting out to the unknown and testing one’s self potential. We didn’t know what to expect on this expedition but we surely knew that we were a tight team. We believed in each other and watched over one another, and we trained really hard.
I wanted to shed light on the devastating truth of our dying seas and raise awareness to help fight this sad truth.
TAQA company funded the film and without it this film couldn’t been done. Shoutout to Soumaya Merhi, a friend, and an accomplished entrepreneur woman, swimmer, and founder of TAQA.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
It took us almost a year to finish the logistics and the planning of the expedition route, the filming, the food supply, the medical care and a lot of pre-production details till the post-production phase.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
Bold and inspiring.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
It’s not easy to film on a sail boat and spend 3 days and nights in the open blue with your own food supply as well as cooking, filming, for almost 24 hours a day when the swimmers were swimming non-stop. You should keep up to their pace. They were a huge inspiration.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It felt honest. The idea of having people comment on your film from all over the world and appreciate your work, and watch it from the comfort of your home is priceless.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. Do you remember that moment when you first realized that you wanted to make films?
While growing up I watched my father on film sets working as a sound recordist. The process of film sets, reality, the amount of work that’s put there, and the final product really inspired me.
I thought it was magic. Since then I set to become a filmmaker. I’m always in the learning progress.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Into the Wild – Sean Penn.
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
I think FIlmFreeway is the best platform out there for filmmakers to put out their work. I think it’s the best around.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Bon iver – Holocene
10. What is next for you? A new film?
I’m writing a sports short film that involves Lebanon and a couple of local problems that affect the sports community in many ways.