When We Listen
A Film By
Amr “Alexandrian” Moustafa
sometimes all we need to make us move forward in our lives to make us handle our own pain is to someone listen have us.
When We Listen is a 15-minute short film, showing the everyday struggle of Amal, a 20-year-old Syrian female who does not speak English.
After losing all her family and being forced to leave the life she once knew, Amal sought refuge in Canada seeking safety, a chance to live again, and finding a place that she could once again call home. She can’t speak or understand English so she communicates through flash cards that someone had made for her.
But she loses her those card at the grocery store and she panics till the employees of the store helps her, Amal decided to start a new life and trust humans again, because sometimes all that we need is someone listen to us, not only with his/her ears but also with eyes and heart
When We Listen
When Amr moved to Canada, he realized that he has much to learn to keep up with the new artists and filmmakers nowadays. He knew that instead of the “old-school” way, he must study and improve his skills in directing and writing.
Amr believed that art is art everywhere in the world. Regardless of his poor English, he understood that a language barrier will not stop him from expressing himself and his art to a new audience.
When he arrived in Canada, he started his journey towards his dreams by going to RDC to study motion picture art. During the fall term in his third year, he had the opportunity to pitch for winter term projects, and as an artist believed that his work should carry a message to the audience.
In view of recent events, Amr decided that the timing was right, to show a different angle on the story of refugees. He wanted to show how the refugees might feel to live in a country that was not their own, how it feels to be alone among people who do not speak their language — when doing the simplest thing in life such as grocery shopping could be such a difficult and scary task.
Amr got the opportunity to produce this short film with RDC and was finally given the chance to send his message to the audience: that we don’t need to speak the same language to understand each other or to feel for each other.
This film required shooting on a city bus and inside a grocery store for 5 days. Since it was a student film and the college could not afford to rent a bus or a grocery store to use for three nights, Amr did not hesitate to approach the City of Red Deer and the grocery store company to ask them for help. Their response was nothing short of awesome; everyone was willing to help and volunteer.
The City of Red Deervolunteered and gave us a city’s bus for a whole day.Amr asked his friends “the professional bus drivers” to help him with
his film, so they volunteered their time to drive the bus around the city while shooting for eight hours.
Sobeys the grocery store allowed the crew and cast to use the store for three nights.
This short film is simple and carries a simple message. However, a number of people who helped us put this film on the big screen taught us an important message: that we all need each other to keep going in this life.
Amr started the shoot on Feb 4th/2017 and finished on March 5th/2017.
A 5-day shoot in total. a 30 hours shoot.
Three hours were devoted to production meetings and only three hours to rehearsals.
Amr had to contact Universal Music Group to obtain the copyright of the song “Lean On Me” because he felt as a director that the song perfectly relays his message and matches the idea behind his film. A Quartet from RDC performed it.
The last day of shooting was delayed until one of the cast members ” Amelia” had delivered her baby. It was perfect
timing as one of Amr’s scenes on the film featured a baby in it.
MY GOALS FOR THIS FILM
What I wanted to achieve with this film is to send a message that we are all human. We all deserve to have a life lived in safety and a second chance. We all need someone to truly listen to us. It does not take a lot of effort to understand each other even if we don’t speak the same language. All we need is to open our heart and listen to each other.
I wanted everyone to participate in my project. I asked everyone about his/her opinion and wanted them to feel comfortable doing it, and which position he/she needed more practice on. I gave them chances to do what they liked the most and try to not limit their creativity.
As for my position, the perfect time to shoot was in February when it was cold and lots of snow on the ground. It truly helped to show how life could be tough on a non-Canadian person.
After waiting seven weeks for the Editor to give Amr a rough cut, Amr wasn’t satisfied with the end results so Amr decided to Edit it himself and was a good experience to learn how to use final cut to edit.
Amr showed his film at Welikoklad Centre Red Deer on 28th and 29th of April and the feedback from the audience was amazing.
It took Amr months to refine the final version of the film, in Feb 2018 Amr finished the final version of the film with an amazing score by The talented Composer Hazem
Kamha and his plan was is to submit it to a few film festivals in North-America and Europe.
Awards and Screening
The film was part of more than Thirty-Five International film festivals, won eight awards, with Thirty-four official selection, two nominations, two times finalists three times semi-finalist.
Been screening in few countries “South Africa, Greece, France, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Romania, Germany, Spain, Cyprus. India, Morocco“.
Been screening in many states and cities in USA ” NewYork, California, Los Angeles, North Dakota, San Francisco, Chicago, Geneva, Illinois, Jackson Mississippi”.
Been screening in a few cities in Canada “Red deer, Edmonton, Toronto, Saint John, New Brunswick“.
For more information about the awards please click here AWARDS
For more information about the festivals please click here FESTIVALS
All the Thanks to the wonderful Cast and Crew.