Interview with Filmmaker Seif Sayed Abdel Raouf (OKAY)

OKAY, 22min., Egypt, Horror
Directed by Seif Sayed Abdel Raouf
A young man experiences strange events when his parents send him to their newly bought house.

Get to know the filmmaker

What motivated you to make this film?

We wanted to highlight the huge impact parents have on their children. In the film we focus more on the negative side of things and how the parents’ lack of love could ultimately lead to dire consequences. I also wanted to strongly emphasize on the concept of “regretting your actions” as a parent. The parents begin to realize that they might have been too harsh on their son, but it was too late. They weren’t purely evil at all; they just didn’t realize how far they were pushing their son.

From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this film?

It was about total of 6 weeks, 3 weeks of preproduction and another 3 weeks for production; we had a very rough schedule of about 6 hours per day to shoot and sometimes only 3 hours . I remember we had to take a break in the middle of production for about 2 weeks due to one of our members catching Covid.

How would you describe your film in two words!?

Tense and Thought-Provoking

What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I remember clearly it was during the postproduction stage of the film, we were furnishing our postproduction studio at the time, and I had to edit the film on a laptop. I finished almost all the film and suddenly all the files and backup files went corrupt. It was insane, we tried to recover the data, but nothing worked. It was such a depressing period, the feeling you get when all your hard work is just thrown the drain. After a few months of just accepting the fact that we lost the entire film, we met a friend who was experienced in IT that had a similar situation happen to him before. He told us that there was a risk that some of the files might be deleted forever, so we took a leap of faith, and it worked all files were restored successfully. I will probably turn this story into a film at some point in my life!

What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was very pleased with how the people were touched by the film, and the main concept. It was also very gratifying to know that they enjoyed the experience of watching the film which was something I was very focused on delivering.

When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

It was about 5 years ago, when I was a mechanical engineering student, I used to work on small video productions. At first, it started out as a hobby but as time passed, I found myself spending hours learning more about filmmaking and that’s when I began to realize that it was something more than just a hobby.

The film “Whiplash” also played a huge role in my passion for filmmaking. It made me think deeply about how much an individual is willing to endure to reach his/her dreams. I started to ask myself if I was in the protagonist’s place what goal would give me the willpower to endure and the answer that popped into my mind was filmmaking.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

It would probably be The Conjuring.

What other elements of the festival experience can we and other
festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I personally struggle with the marketing of a film and how to get it viewed by as many people as possible. This is something that your festival accomplishes greatly, and I am very grateful for the work being made to make this possible.

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It’s an amazing experience so far. It is user friendly which allowed me to submit to festivals with relative ease and it didn’t take me long to get the hang of it. It is also quite impressive that it has a wide range of
festivals that one can submit to.

What is your favorite meal?

To be on the safe side, I would say anything my mother makes, aside from that it would probably be Molokhiya, an Egyptian green soup eaten with bread.

What is next for you? A new film?

I am currently writing a short film and in the pre-production phase of another. The one I am writing is a horror, while the one I am prepping is sci-fi. I am very excited for both projects and the challenges they will bring.

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By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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