Writer/director Othman Abou Laban is clear about one thing … audiences shouldn’t walk into the cinema expecting a cheesy rom-com flick, Love Story has heart and a big twist! We caught up with the writer and director of this month’s hit to find out what lead to the development of this unique film about a blind man finding his way through life.
CWM: How did the idea for Love Story come about?
OA: I came up with the idea of centering a film around a blind man, and my writing partner came up with the angle of exploring a love story. The main idea of the film is how you can fall in love with someone without ever seeing them, how kindness and respect can grow love.
Did you face any challenges in the process of making the film?
The first challenge I was presented with is how to make the film as simple and enjoyable as possible, so that any cinemagoer, regardless of age or background, could enjoy it. I didn’t want any audience member to feel like the subject wasn’t understandable, or not suitable for them. The issue we face a lot is the clear division and categorization of films – this is action, this is comedy, this is sha3bi … this leads some prospective audiences to not give a movie a chance. To avoid this, we attempted to make the dialogue simple, direct and tell the story in a deep and stylistic way instead of just making a cheesy romantic movie.
How does this movie depart from your previous work?
I’ve directed a lot of actions films, but my very first movie was a romantic-adventure movie called Ahlam Omrena with Mona Zaki and I’ve also directed a lot of video clips with a romantic plot. The goal of directing a romantic feature successfully is to convey the feeling and meaning of love to the viewer in an authentic and accessible way. If I was able to do it in a four-minute video clip, I hope I pulled it off with this longer feature!
What I can promise the audience is that we will take them on a journey of mixed feelings, and it will move them. It will make them happy, and in the end, they will walk out appreciating their life and the story they watched.