Ummah Films have released their latest short film, titled: Doctor, Director (Watch it via Vimeo). It only cost $7000 to make and was financed from public contributions. It falls under the genre of bitter-sweet romcom, providing a glimpse into the emotionally charged, socially awkward world of Islamic proposals. A Muslim version of Meet the Parents – without the gross out comedy.
I don’t wish to fully critique the film so soon after its release. Criticism is certainly very important in order to increase the quality of future productions – but offering it five minutes after release is akin to a kick in the gut for the team that put in so much hard work. Trust me, I speak from experience! Instead, I’ll share what I honestly liked about it.
I thought it was very funny in places, especially little things like the mother’s excessive hospitality and cleanliness. I also sympathized with the plight of the main characters, Ali and Layla, perhaps because I’ve been there myself. The overall picture quality was really good, and there were moments of true artistry with the directing, masha’Allah. Part Two of my review will come later, though none of my ‘negative’ criticisms are all that harsh (I hope!).
I’ve only been involved in a hand-full of productions, but I know script-based films are much more challenging than filming events, vlogs, or conducting interviews. Further, I personally think comedy and horror are the most difficult genres around: so hard to get right, and so easy to get wrong. I think UF did make something chuckle-worthy, masha’Allah, and they have definitely improved a lot over time in terms of their production value. Much respect to them for their efforts, and I look forward to the next big project.