This week, the Inspire Middle West team will take you to the discovery of two artists of the 7th art: the Indian actress, Priyanka Chopra, tells about her new life between Bollywood and Hollywood and her many international projects. Director Amjad Abu Alala embodies for its part, the rebirth of Sudanese cinema after the international triumph of its first film “You will die at 20”.
Priyanka chopra is one of its biggest stars in Indian cinema. The former Miss World has starred in dozens of Bollywood films. She was praised by “Time” magazine, which ranked her among the 100 most influential people in the world and “Forbes” even placed her in the top 100 of the most powerful women on the planet.
Although she now has several appearances in Hollywood, she still describes herself as “an artist and a dreamer”:
“I am just starting the adventure in Hollywood where I only made a few films. Nothing to do with the sixty roles in almost 20 years in Bollywood. It would be a little premature to launch myself into a comparison, especially since the machine is the same and everything happens in the same way on the set. The big difference is the punctuality of people in Hollywood. It’s quite different from what we know in India. It is no coincidence that we are talking about Indian Standard Time. “
Priyanka Chopra does not rule out playing in Arabic one day, in productions from the Middle East:
“I would love to do it, but I don’t speak the language yet. Damn … (laughs) I want to make films all over the world. I love my job and if I have to, I am ready to learn a new language. “
The actress perfectly masters her communication. She has more than 53 million followers on Instagram. She has also used her social networks to share the advice of doctors against the spread of COVID-19. Chopra is aware of the scope of his speeches and is particularly sensitive to listening to his audience:
“This is something that I obviously could not imagine 20 years ago. I am grateful and flattered that my positions can reach a large audience and that my work makes people want to know me as a person and no longer just as an actress. I take this role very seriously. That is why I speak about subjects which are close to my heart and which can make this world more pleasant because it is for me the most important thing. “
Two series for Amazon, several films and a book in the pipeline
Priyanka Chopra also made headlines when she married the 27-year-old American singer and actor, Nick Jonas, in 2018. The 37-year-old star values respect for her private life but also understands the curiosity of her audience.
“It’s in human nature. Our two careers necessarily expose us. But there is what I want to share and what is the domain of my private life. Over time, I have learned to do distinction and to better manage these two aspects. “
Good news, her agenda is already full for the next two years: Priyanka Chopra has already landed several roles, notably in Matrix 4. She is also working with her husband Jonas on the project of a musical series which deals with the Indian prenuptial ceremony. of the “sangeet”:
“I’m going to start filming a new series for Amazon that’s produced by the Russo Brothers. I also have a romantic comedy I’m directing. It’s actually a girlfriends comedy with Mindy Kaling. There’s also this series with my husband, still for Amazon on the ‘sangeet’ ceremony and I’m also writing a book. There is a lot, a lot going on right now. “
Sudanese cinema undergoing a renaissance
In North Africa and the Middle East, Egyptian cinema has hitherto occupied center stage. The 7th art was introduced in 1897 by a French director, Alexandre Promio, who discovered Alexandria and knew how to capture the beauty of the country. In the process, a regional scene had emerged and Sudan was one of the first countries in Africa to adopt this new means of communication.
Filmmaker Jadalla Jubara was a pioneer. In 1955, he had produced, “Song of Khartoum”, the first African color film. He subsequently created the country’s first private film studio. But the arrival of President Omar al-Bashir in 1989 marked the abrupt end of the Sudanese film industry. For many decades, the political regime limited the development of art, but since Al-Bashir’s ouster in 2019, the spark has been rekindled.
Amjad Abu Alala is one of the emerging filmmakers of Sudan and his first film “You will die at 20 “ received unanimous support from international critics. The film is set in contemporary Sudan and revolves around a young man, Muzamil, who was raised with the belief that he will die in his 20th year. But his meeting with Suliman will change his life and his relationship to this prophecy.
The film launched several young Sudanese actors, including Mustafa Shehata who plays the role of Muzamil. After accolades in Carthage in Tunisia, El Gouna in Egypt and the Venice Film Festival, Sudanese cinema could soon experience a renaissance as the country continues to push its creative limits.
Amjad Abu Alala: “Sudanese cinema is a mixture of African and Arab films”
Our journalist Daleen Hassan had met the director of “You will die at 20” before the Covid-19 pandemic.
What condition is Sudanese cinema in?
Amjad Abu Alala: “We cannot yet speak of Sudanese cinema. Not having had Sudanese films for 30 years was very bad for us. It is only the 7th film. On the other hand, the new generation of filmmaker of which I am a part has the opportunity to deal with stories from our country that could never be told until then. We used to see African films and Arab films, but we were not used to see the mix of the two which is embodied by Sudanese films. “
Why did you choose to tell a story filled with superstition, religion and people trapped by them?
Amjad Abu Alala: “Because I’ve seen a lot of situations like this. I remember my aunt, who had a mental illness. Nobody wanted to take her to the psychiatrist, we ended up taking her to the sheiks … “
What is your connection with the story of Muzamil?
Amjad Abu Alala: “There is a bit of me in Muzamil but I recognize myself a lot more in Sulaiman. He is the one who dares to speak and say what he thinks. I am like this. I don’t calculate when I have advice to give or criticism. I think Sulaiman got that from me. But I also put things in Muzamil, especially my fear of water, I have this phobia of swimming. “
How did you manage to make a film in Sudan with such production quality and what effect do you think this had on the final result?
Amjad Abu Alala: “Making a quality film was already my main concern when I decided to make a feature film 10 years ago. I wanted to work with good actors, have a good image and work with a team that I had been able to choose and train. This was an essential step during all stages of the film because it was the only way to support the comparison. I am not sure that I can have a budget and international aid funds to make my next film in Sudan. By doing so, it was a way of developing a local film industry. “