Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Iran and Etihad

FINALLY...We got the visas through and can now head to Iran. Many thanks to Reza Eslamloo and Javad Shamaghdari for their help with this.

We are now looking at going to Iran after the first of the year. Still waiting on a response with Etihad, but like everything else, this takes time.

I got a very nice email from Eason Jordon, who was the head of CNN news during the Gulf War. He wrote, "Asrar is a hero, and it'd be wonderful if her story were told." We will be having Mr. Jordon as a consultant on the film.

It's a great part for an actress, let's just hope that the women we are interested in think the same thing! With a film like Defiance coming out with Daniel Craig about the Polish and Russian Resistance fighters during WWII, we feel that Etihad will have an audience as well.

That Asrar not only fought with the Resistance for her country, but also saved Americans and Brits who were left behind, really is an amazing story. She gave the ultimate sacrifice, her life for what she believed in. It does give a completely different look at Arab women and the whole Eastern/Western idea.

The more I'm learning about Asrar Al Qabandi, I feel really fortunate to be involved with this film. There are so few stories about women heroes out there.

"Death is more universal than life; everyone dies, but not everyone lives." A. Sachs

Friday, December 5, 2008

4 years

I just realized that it was my 4 year anniversary on being in the UAE!

OK, I'm in LA at the moment, but on Dec 4, 2004, I turned up in Dubai not knowing a soul...and it has been an amazing ride since then!

Big Cat Rescue was sold (article in Gulf News) http://www.gulfnews.com/friday/Environment/10264750.html and I finally got my visa permission just yesterday (4 must be a GOOD number for me!) to go to Iran to film our documentary, We the People of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is about the Presidential Election process in Iran, as their election is coming up.

For our film Etihad, it is currently with a Hollywood actress to see what she thinks about being involved. My partner on this is HH Sha. Al Zain Al Sabah of Kuwait. Etihad is about Asrar Al Qabandi, a US educated Kuwaiti woman, who was the backbone of the Kuwait Resistance during the Gulf War. Asrar was eventually captured, tortured, raped and killed, 2 days before Desert Storm started. It's an amazing story about an Arab woman who ended up giving the ultimate sacrifice for what she believed in.

We are also developing a film called Antar of Liwa, The Black Knight, about the Arab/African hero, Antar. It's with the Media Council in Abu Dhabi at the moment, as we would like to film it in Liwa.

So it's been a good 4 years and we are looking forward to many more.