A lecturer from QMU, who has just won a prestigious short film award, is now to have his film screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

Walid Salhab, Lecturer in Media Practice, has just gained a Best Short award in the prestigious ‘Best Shorts Competition’ based in California. His film will now be premiered next week at the annual Artisan Festival International (World Cinema Festival) at the prestigious Festival de Cannes. In August, it will also be screened in The Hamptons, New York.

The film ‘Bra-et Al Rouh’ (Innocence of the Spirit) raises awareness of Palestinian refugees by using a common theme of homelessness. This theme highlights the parallels between the Middle East and Western people in a way that refrains from being politicised.

Walid Salhab talks out the film: “It’s a low budget film which I shot during Edinburgh’s International Festival, using the festival acts as a background for the story. My film-making is the basis for my own on-going research. It allows me to explore the use of new technology in filming and editing techniques which I can then feedback into my teaching.”

The film’s main star is a six year old Palestinian girl, and it is through her eyes that the story unfolds. The girl is drawn to help a man on the street who is deep in despair. By showing him a small act of kindness, life seems all the brighter. His life now has new hope.

Walid said:- “I thought the film was a good fit with the Artisan Festival International as the Festival’s theme is world peace. I initially entered it into this festival, not realising that it would be premiered in Cannes, so the result is a very pleasant surprise.

“It’s amazing that a short film which cost literally nothing to make, seems to be gaining recognition world-wide. It’s a great success story for the University – the crew was mainly made up of QMU film graduates. Also, the music running throughout the film was gifted by singer, Marie Campbell, who continues to be a great friend to QMU.”

Walid concluded: “It’s going to be a very busy summer. I anticipate that the contacts that I make at the festivals and the additional experience of the industry will bring significant benefits to future QMU film and media students.”

In a letter to Walid which confirmed his success in the Best Short Competition, Thomas Baker, the Competition’s Chairperson, said:- “You can be justifiably proud of winning Best Shorts honors. The judging standards are high and winning means the craft and creativity exhibited by your entry is outstanding and stands above other productions.”

Source: The Edinburgh Reporter