SPOTLIGHT: DUBAI FILM SCREENING OF ‘AMPOULE’

Yesterday evening, after a productive day at Zaman I made plans to attend the first private screening of a short film called ‘Ampoule’, at the Meydan IMAX Theater.  Ampoule is a fantasy drama directed and written by SAE course coordinator of the film department, Stephane Randjelovic. It’s set on the aftermath of a cataclysmic solar flare that has destroyed all electronic devices and energy sources, taking away our digital memories and humanity along with it. One of the lead characters is the Butcher who becomes one of the few strong enough to survive in this desolate wasteland. While he rests in his antiquated cabin he discovers a young boy named Ampoule hiding out behind the rubble and the most unlikely friendship develops. Together they journey into rediscovering the humanity and kindness that has been denuded from the world and they flourish in bringing back the joy of film, friendship and compassion.

On reaching the Meydan IMAX theater for the first time, along with my colleague Dejana and my friend Ayham, we were astounded by the unexpectedly high amount of people that had gathered to watch Ampoule for the first time. I entered the lobby where everyone was assembled and started to converse with folks in the film industry varying from actors, directors and media-equipment providers. I bought myself a snack and queued between eager people also waiting for the film to start. I also bumped into Grace and John (Zaman bosses) in the theater.

The movie began with stunning direction, direction of photography (DOP), and a great story. I found the story very powerful since it was highlighting the fact that cinema reels are not being used anymore and have been replaced by a virtual format called ‘Digital Cinema Package’ that would be destroyed and forgotten following a catastrophic event that could wipeout electricity and power sources from our world. The make-up artistry and effects were alright although it could’ve been done better, for example when the Butcher slashes one of the thugs with his meat cleaver, the blood splash looked very fake and there was no blood on the meat cleaver and when Ampoule was playing the violin the music was not synched with his movements.

Overall, the film was intriguing and exciting with a few less than stellar actors and visual effects.

**Post by Sari Al Houseini, Zaman’s newest & youngest team member.**