For February 2013, Fawaz Al-Matrouk is our YallaTV Featured Filmmaker. His short film To Rest In Peace, is being featured all month at YallaTV.
To Rest In Peace, his master degree thesis film, was industry mentored by Ridley Scott. It screened cities worldwide, including Cannes, New York, Los Angeles, London, Dubai and Kuwait, winning awards for directing, writing, cinematography, editing, music, audience choice, and best short film.
“When I was eight years old, I lived in Kuwait. On August 2nd, 1990, we woke up to the sounds of machine gun fire. Helicopters were in the sky, and smoke trails were on the horizon. Iraq had invaded.
The following days taught me much about human nature. There were reports of arrests, tortures and atrocities. My cousin showed me pictures he had taken of a corpse.
On the eighth day, my parents decided to leave Kuwait, and we were able to escape through the desert to Saudi Arabia. Many of my family, however, decided to stay. One of them was my uncle Malek, the subject of this film.
After the war, we heard about several of his heroics. One of these, however, rang most resonantly through my mind. It was the story of how he saw two dead bodies, day after day, that no one was burying. He went to the Red Crescent, but they were reluctant. People were afraid of the consequences if they interfered. So Malek took it on himself to bury the two bodies, digging them a grave by the side of the road.
This story shaped my view of human dignity, and I feel so fortunate now to be able to share it with the world.” said Fawaz Al-Matrouk.
Fawaz grew up in Kuwait until the first Gulf War. When Iraq invaded, his family moved to Saudi Arabia, London and Halifax, eventually settling in Toronto, where he spent most of his life.
He completed an Honours BA in History at the University of Toronto, and a MFA in film production at the University of Southern California. Drawing inspiration from the films of Ridley Scott, his readings of Victor Hugo and his personal travels, Fawaz has excelled in directing, writing and academics, receiving numerous awards and honours for his work. Most recently, his thesis film To Rest In Peace won the Silver prize at the PAGE Screenwriting Awards, was featured on the front page of Gulf News and now on YallaTV.
Fawaz is currently developing feature film projects, and working as a commercial and music video director.
Watch To Rest In Peace (http://www.yallatv.me/
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