Nayla Al Khaja, the brilliant Emirati Film Director/Producer, has achieved a remarkable milestone in her career as she wraps up shooting for her debut feature film, ‘THREE,’ which took place in both Thailand and the UAE. This psychological horror film, under Al Khaja’s directorial prowess and co-written by Ben Williams, brings together an exceptional cast, including the renowned British actor Jefferson Hall, celebrated for his roles in ‘House of the Dragon,’ ‘Halloween,’ and the upcoming Christopher Nolan film ‘Oppenheimer.’
‘THREE’ takes audiences on an unforgettable journey through the bustling suburbs of a modern-day Middle Eastern city. The story revolves around a young boy named Ahmed, whose inexplicable and disturbing behavior leads his mother, Maryam, to believe he is possessed. As the plot thickens, Maryam races against time, seeking the help of a Western doctor, medical professionals, and ultimately, an infamous exorcist, all in a desperate attempt to save her son.
The production of ‘THREE’ spanned 24 intense days, immersing the team in the captivating landscapes of both Thailand and the UAE. Nayla Al Khaja, along with producers Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki, Daniel Zirilli, Jean-Charles Levy, and executive producers Muna Easa Al Gurg, Jefferson Hall, Siddharth Thakker, and Rasik Thakker, worked tirelessly to bring this gripping tale to life.
What sets ‘THREE’ apart is its groundbreaking portrayal of an Englishman intricately intertwined with the core of an Emirati family—an uncommon scenario in the realm of cinema. Nayla Al Khaja expressed her excitement about the performances of Jefferson Hall and Saud Alzarooni, which brilliantly highlight the stark cultural differences while emphasizing the shared human needs for healing, connection, and love. The film emerges as a mesmerizing cross-cultural horror experience, pulsating with the rhythm of a foreign world.
The significance of ‘THREE’ extends beyond its narrative, as it heralds a new chapter in UAE Arab cinema. By showcasing the convergence of cultures and narratives rarely explored on the silver screen, Nayla Al Khaja breaks barriers and expands the boundaries of storytelling. The film encapsulates the skyscrapers, aesthetics, and soul of the city, capturing the essence of its people and their rich diversity.
Emirates Airline’s support for ‘THREE’ underscores their commitment to empowering Emirati talent and amplifying the voices of female storytellers. Nayla Al Khaja expresses deep gratitude for this partnership, which not only endorses her artistic endeavor but also signifies a collective spirit of creativity and innovation.
The film’s production was further enhanced by the generous assistance of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, which provided mesmerizing aerial views of Dubai, elevating the visual experience and adding immeasurable value to the overall production.
While ‘THREE’ undergoes post-production, Nayla Al Khaja’s visionary mind is already focused on her next ambitious project, ‘BAAB.’ The anticipation surrounding this film is intensified by the collaboration with two-time Oscar winner, music director A.R. Rahman, famous for his exceptional work on “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours.” Scheduled to commence shooting in March 2024 in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, ‘BAAB’ promises to continue pushing boundaries and cementing Nayla Al Khaja’s position as a trailblazer in the industry.
As audiences eagerly await the release of ‘THREE,’ the anticipation grows for an enthralling cinematic experience that transcends cultural barriers and immerses viewers in a world of suspense, horror, and human connection. Nayla Al Khaja’s debut feature film is poised to captivate and inspire, leaving an indelible mark on UAE Arab cinema. Stay tuned for updates and get ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the heart of ‘THREE.’
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