Fadel Al Mheiri’s new feature length animation brings ‘90s Abu Dhabi back to life. The Emirati started experimenting with films when he was still in school, writing the scripts for his films and shooting around his neighbourhood. He’d show his work to friends in a tent outside his house, which is where Tent Pictures Productions gets its name. “Time stopped in the tent”, he remembers.

Fadel’s next picture, Catsaway, is a 2D animation following the adventures of Abu Dhabi street cats trying to find a new place to live as the city rapidly expands in the ‘90s. Anyone who’s grown up in the Emirate at that time will get an immediate nostalgia hit. “And really”, Fadel tells us, “Abu Dhabi isn’t just a backdrop in the movie. It’s a character.”  We caught up with the director in his man cave at Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 media freezone, where he told us more.