Harib: Emirati Cinema is Unique
After his famed animation series ‘Freej’ became an international hit, UAE showrunner Mohammad Saeed Harib is ready with his directorial debut film 'Rashid and Rajab', which releases across the GCC on Eid day.
From the creator of Arab regions most loved cartoon series, Harib has evolved to become a filmmaker and believes that despite complexities, he has one of the luckiest jobs where he is paid to imagine. He says that Emirati cinema has something unique to offer to the world, and the industry is going through a transitional period with a number of really good films coming out from local production houses. “We have a mandate to create films for the local audience and good film’s impact travels beyond if it’s true to the local culture,” says Harib.
His first feature film Rashid & Rajab is a classic body-switch comedy with an Emirati and Egyptian switching lives. He says that there is a lot of passion and hard work that went into making the film.
His cartoon series ‘Freej’ is dubbed into Japanese and is aired weekly on Tokyo MX. Talking about his journey, Mohammed Harib says he never expected that the fun old ladies of ‘Freej’ will receive such a huge fandom and faced many challenges when he started working on the cartoon series. He says, “I think I chose the toughest time to enter the animation industry as there were a lot of challenges that came through, lack of talent was one of them. There were no Arabic cartoons in 3D. But I believe it shaped my career and made me the person I am today.”