Ali F Mostafa says the film is perfect for the technology. John Phillips / Getty Images for BFI
Ali F Mostafa says the film is perfect for the technology. John Phillips / Getty Images for BFI

Ali F Mostafa’s The Worthy to be first Arab film to screen in 4DX



When Ali F Mostafa's third movie, The Worthy, hits cinemas tomorrow, it will mark a couple of significant milestones – for Arab film in general and Emirati cinema in particular.

The movie could already reasonably claim to be the first Arab post-apocalyptic thriller to go on general release, and this week it was announced that it will be the first Arabic-language movie screened in the 4DX format at Vox Cinemas, featuring moving seats, smoke, wind and water effects, and even smells.

Emirati director Mostafa says he is excited at the prospect, though he admits he was largely a bystander in the decision to adapt the movie to 4DX.

“When we first screened the film to the distributors, Vox, one of them just said: ‘This would make a great 4DX film’,” he says. Vox chief executive Cameron Mitchell clearly agrees.

“With so many action scenes and edge-of-your-seat moments, this is the perfect film for 4DX,” says Mitchell. “Audiences can expect water effects such as mist and rain, wind, with a gentle breeze or turbulent storm – they are going to have a truly exhilarating time.”

To create the experience, the film was sent overseas to 4DX specialists, who programme the seat movements and effects to match the on-screen action.

Mostafa says he was not familiar with the format before discovering his movie would be adapted.

“I must admit, I’ve never experienced a 4DX film,” he says. “I was really surprised to learn that apparently every other film with elements of action and so on, they screen in 4DX – and this has been going on for at least a couple of years.

“Apparently they do really well, and audiences love it. But I have to admit it’s something I’ve only really experienced at a funfair with the kids.”

Mostafa now finds himself in the unusual position for a director of preparing to present a movie in a format he has not experienced to the audience during a private 4DX preview tonight – which means it will be a first for both Mostafa and the audience.

“I’m doubly excited because not only is it the first Arab film to get the 4DX treatment, but it will also be the first 4DX film I’ve experienced when I watch the preview,” he says.

“I wish I could see it sooner – I’m introducing the film, so I’d really like to know what it’s like in 4DX first, but I’m going to find out with everyone else. It sounds fun, though, like a whole new experience of watching a movie.

“It’s another landmark for Arab cinema, and for myself too I guess. It’s a pretty cool landmark to have.”

The release of the film in Mostafa’s home country marks the end of a long journey to the screen, from the initial announcement at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2014 and the unveiling of the first trailer at the same event a year later, to its world premiere at the London Film Festival last October and the regional premiere at Diff in December.

Mostafa admits there is a bittersweet side to the release.

“It’s an amazing feeling, but there’s always these concerns as a director that if the first weekend doesn’t do well, then it won’t trickle down,” he says.

“I’m sure everybody that goes to see it, 4DX or not, will enjoy it. Everyone I know who has seen it has enjoyed it, whether they’re fans of the genre or not. They’ve walked away with an experience.

“It had a tremendous screening in London, we had a crazy screening at Diff where people were applauding during the movie – so let’s just hope we can keep that going.”

With the door left open for a sequel, this is another reason for the director to hope audiences share his enthusiasm for the movie.

“At the end of the day, the importance of us making these movies is that the movies get seen, and I really want to get the message out there that the film is in cinemas,” he says.

Spreading the word is clearly particularly important to Mostafa following critical praise, but disappointing box office returns, for his previous movie, road-trip comedy From A to B.

“Unfortunately, with my second film I even had some of my closest friends ask me, ‘When’s it releasing?’ – and it had already been in cinemas for two weeks,” he says.

“I really want to get the message out there that this is in cinemas, and I promise viewers that if they go to see it they won’t have a disappointing experience.”

• The Worthy is in cinemas from Thursday, February 23.

Check out our review in Thursday’s Arts & Life

cnewbould@thenational.ae

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

Places to go for free coffee
  • Cherish Cafe Dubai, Dubai Investment Park, are giving away free coffees all day. 
  • La Terrace, Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai, are serving their first 50 guests one coffee and four bite-sized cakes
  • Wild & The Moon will be giving away a free espresso with every purchase on International Coffee Day
  • Orange Wheels welcome parents are to sit, relax and enjoy goodies at ‘Café O’ along with a free coffee
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Racecard

5pm: Al Bateen – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m
5.30pm: Al Khaleej – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m
6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m
6.30pm: Al Nahyan – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: Al Karamah – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
7.30pm: Al Salam – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

ESSENTIALS

The flights 
Emirates, Etihad and Swiss fly direct from the UAE to Zurich from Dh2,855 return, including taxes.
 

The chalet
Chalet N is currently open in winter only, between now and April 21. During the ski season, starting on December 11, a week’s rental costs from €210,000 (Dh898,431) per week for the whole property, which has 22 beds in total, across six suites, three double rooms and a children’s suite. The price includes all scheduled meals, a week’s ski pass, Wi-Fi, parking, transfers between Munich, Innsbruck or Zurich airports and one 50-minute massage per person. Private ski lessons cost from €360 (Dh1,541) per day. Halal food is available on request.

The stats and facts

1.9 million women are at risk of developing cervical cancer in the UAE

80% of people, females and males, will get human papillomavirus (HPV) once in their lifetime

Out of more than 100 types of HPV, 14 strains are cancer-causing

99.9% of cervical cancers are caused by the virus

A five-year survival rate of close to 96% can be achieved with regular screenings for cervical cancer detection

Women aged 25 to 29 should get a Pap smear every three years

Women aged 30 to 65 should do a Pap smear and HPV test every five years

Children aged 13 and above should get the HPV vaccine

The biog

Name: Timothy Husband

Nationality: New Zealand

Education: Degree in zoology at The University of Sydney

Favourite book: Lemurs of Madagascar by Russell A Mittermeier

Favourite music: Billy Joel

Weekends and holidays: Talking about animals or visiting his farm in Australia

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Expo details

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia

The world fair will run for six months from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

It is expected to attract 25 million visits

Some 70 per cent visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos.

More than 30,000 volunteers are required for Expo 2020

The site covers a total of 4.38 sqkm, including a 2 sqkm gated area

It is located adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Name: Purpl

Co-founders: Karl Naim, Wissam Ghorra, Jean-Marie Khoueir

Based: Hub71 in Abu Dhabi and Beirut

Started: 2021

Number of employees: 12

Sector: FinTech

Funding: $2 million

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now