Ali Mostafa’s words of wisdom

The last panel on day one of Comic Con featured Ali F. Mostafa along with other guests, a valuable conversation for aspiring scriptwriters and filmmakers in the region. Stay tuned for his upcoming project about friends planning a road trip from Abu Dhabi to Beirut, aptly titled From A to B. Here are some words of wisdom straight from the man who created City of Life.

Ali F. Mostafa, an iconic figure for filmmakers in the region. (Photo by Vivin Oommen)

The power of believing in yourself……..
“Regardless of the film you wanna make, whatever genre is, the most important thing as a filmmaker is to stay true to yourself. Like if you have this idea and you truly believe in it, and I can sit there and have coffee with you and if I could see the passion pouring out of your pores, I would believe you. As an investor I’d probably believe in you”

Success is……..
“Success could be making a lot of money at the box office, or getting international distribution. Then wherever you’re from, whoever’s watching your film, it’s because you put your heart and soul”

For aspiring filmmakers pursuing passion projects, what is it that they shouldn’t do…..
“What not to do, is don’t give up. Regardless of how many doors slam in your face, if you truly believe in it do it, whether it’s in a year or ten years. It took me three and a half years to make and for some people that’s nothing”

On a last note Ali. F. Mostafa admits he’s not a fan of the Star Wars prequels, “I’m a little old school, I grew up loving Star Wars, one of the most iconic themes, costumes and I always wanted to own one and ride around town on my cycle. What I loved about Star Wars is……..(George Lucas) took something when they didn’t really have CGI or special effects and he made something that we can sit and watch till this day……at a time when (you’d think) how can they do that?”

Lets hope his next project gathers more success than City of Life.

Coming up tomorrow, John Rhys Davies’ insider news of The Hobbit and an exclusive 10-minute preview of Peter Jackson’s latest installment to the Lord of the Rings series.

Laurie Holden’s inside scoop on Walking Dead season 3

The charming blond lady playing Andrea in the popular zombie series Walking Dead, dropped by Middle East comic con in Dubai. Her first time in Dubai, she called the visit a magical moment and was thrilled to venture across the city’s first comic con.

Following the hooking season finale of Walking Dead led by a hooded figure, Laurie Holden confirms the figure is indeed a woman, “The comic book fans would know, the figure is a woman, her name is Michonne”(sources have confirmed Danai Gurira to play the zombie-pet owner Michonne)

Regarding Andrea’s relationship with Michonne in the following season, Holden was glad to add, “Although I haven’t read the script, I have been inside the creative rooms and I can say Andrea and Michonne are going to be  amazing friends” Is she afraid the script-writers might hack her character at some point from the story? “It’s really heart-breaking when one of the characters dies because this is a very unique show. It’s very grueling, the weather’s like the sun in Dubai, it’s very emotional and we’re very close with one another, we’ve become very good friends. When one of us is written off the show it’s really rather devastating to say goodbye to a family member………..I’m hoping I don’t have a death anytime soon”

Laurie Holden hopes her character would live longer in season 3 (original photo by Vivin Oommen)

When asked if she thought the show would be a huge success at a time when Vampires and werewolves were the highlight of pop culture, Holden grinned “We didn’t expect such a huge response, I mean vampires are sexy, zombies are not. But they’ve been embraced internationally and I think there’s a reason for that. I think at a time of crisis…… I think there’s a tropical fear that people have and it’s in the air, and our zombies are a metaphor for the global economic crisis, for global warming, when the world’s uncertain”

About her thoughts on Andrea’s journey in season 3, Holden expressed her concern for retaining her character’s empathy “I hope no more people that I love die, I’m very grateful that she’s not suicidal anymore and she’s empowered herself and is becoming more of a survivor. I don’t know how long Andrea’s gonna live but I hope she falls in love, I hope she builds great friendships, I hope she kills a lot of zombies. I hope they build a new life somewhere, with peace at least for a while”

That was Laurie Holden spilling the beans on season 3. Watch out for more spoilers from John Rhys Davies about the legendary Lord of The Rings’ prequel The Hobbit and Max Landis talking about Chronicle 2. Coming up soooon!

Lo galore! Cosplay in Dubai

I would really pity you if you missed out on the most colorful and whacky convention in Dubai. The one place where dressing up weird is ‘in’ and being normal is as good as non-existent. Today’s your last chance to attend and witness the first Middle East Film and Comic Con so rampage your closet, hunt for that weird tee you would never want to be caught dead with and parade around Dubai International Marine Club.

As for my fellow cosplay enthusiasts, here are some of the displays from Day 1 of Comic con (original photos by Vivin Oommen) More photos coming up!

Were you there? What did you think of the first comic con in the Middle East?

Day 1 of MEFCC: Event bio

I believe one day of awesomeness cannot be wrapped up in a single article. I’d rather break it down to three or more articles. The first Comic Con that people in the Middle East have witnessed has only begun. What was expected to be a haven for comic book fans and film enthusiasts was an exciting showdown of costly talent that would’ve never been recognized, graphic artists in the region we never knew existed, some of the rarest comic copies ranging between AED 2000- AED 10,000 (No, joke), comic merchandise we would never have bothered investing and workshops featuring relevant expertise. See why I can’t include everything in one post?

To start off with, let’s talk about the guests and fans attending this event. Comic Con is one event that has centered and focused on fans all over the world. Dubai would be no different, providing access to celebrities Q & A sessions, workshops, autograph signage (a tad bit expensive on that one) and interacting with celebrities throughout the day. Shahbaaz Ali Khan, an avid fan of Walking Dead graphic novels and the live action series was amazed to meet Laurie Holden in person. Max Landis, the most outspoken and animated person I’ve met shared a few spoilers of the Chronicle sequel, John Rhys Davies (Gimli from Lord of the Rings) commented on how the LOTR catered to an intelligent audience and that The Hobbit would be a 3D experience of it’s own kind. Jason Momoa joined fans for a rather spontaneous and charming Q & A session in the evening. Turns out the tribal leader Khal Drogo is actually a softie in reality, “My wife asks me to do the dishes, I say ‘Yes, mam’….what can I say, I’m a softie”

Laurie Holden describes her visit to Dubai "this is a magical moment to be here" (photo by Vivin Oommen)

Press conference panel featuring John Rhys Davies, Luciana Carro, Sammy Clark, Laurie Holden, Jihad Al Atrash and Ben (organizer of event) (photo by Vivin Oommen)

John Rhys Davies re-enacting a scene from Lord of the Rings (photo by Vivin Oommen)

Max Landis (sreenwriter of Chronicle) surprised that people watched his movie from the Middle East. (photo by Vivin Oommen)

The animated Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) in session with fans. (photo by Vivin Oommen)

Located at the Dubai International Marine Club, there was ample room for the convention hall, an SAE green screen, the grassy arena for main stage activities including cosplay contest, workshop room to learn from the guests, the VOX movie club which hosted Q & A sessions and movie screenings.

The nazi zombie who stole Max Landis' heart at the cosplay contest (photo by Vivin Oommen)

The one place you get to witness and meet comic fans from Dubai, do not miss out on the second day of MEFCC, also the last one. This is history in the making, just the start of the comic world unravelling in the Middle East.

7 things you ought to know about Comic Con in Dubai:

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#1 Screening of movies such as Star Trek, The Matrix on the first day and Harry Potter (and the Philosopher’s Stone) on the second day ending with Thor!

#2 Exclusive stalls set up by exhibitors selling mangos, comics, gaming zone, costumes etc

#3 Some pretty exciting trailers, few of which will be premiered at Comic Con!

#4 A rock climbing challenge for the adventurous. Whoever reaches the top, wins a pair of tickets for Amazing Spiderman 3D!

#5 I wouldn’t even have to guess which anime got you started on reading japanese manga. Naruto episodes are up for a show at the MEFCC main stage!

#6 Think you’re the biggest otaku out her win Dubai? Challenge yourself with comic con’s Otaku Quiz.

#7 And finally *whispers* there’s an after-party for all comic con fans. P.S. you have to be above 21 years old.