My name is Omar Al-Nakib. I graduated from the American University of Kuwait in 2012 with a degree in English Literature. I am a multidisciplinary artist with a special focus on audiovisual art.
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Q: HOW IS YOUR PROJECT TIED TO THE CIRCA X DAZED CLASS OF 2022 THEME OF ‘A FUTURE WORLD’ ?
The short I’m submitting is taken from an episodic horror-comedy anthology called AFREET. The Afreet is a demon (or ‘Djinni’) in Islamic mythology that torments the unsuspecting just because. The preternatural horrors of the 21st century onwards will be committed in the abstract: malware, doxxing, catfishing, leaks on a global (and soon, perhaps, Martian) scale. This is the Afreet moving with the times. Tech is the ever-present apparition we offer our bodies to – we make it flesh, and it’s only becoming more literal by the day. In this episode of AFREET, our protagonist encounters the djinni through a virtual reality mod downloaded from a suspicious website, and enters his life like a virus, and subjects him to a visceral, concentrated expressway of odd torments. We’re welcoming an infestant disguised as a hula hoop and AFREET is a terror-laden immersion into this future.
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU CREATE WITH THE £30,000 CIRCA PRIZE?
If I’m lucky enough to win, the prize money will be used to fund 3 more episodes of AFREET, to an ultimate 5 episodes. Episode 2, in which the djinni torments a musician through sound, has just wrapped production, and is currently in post. With the prize money, I can (finally and properly) compensate the talents with what they deserve, hire production assistants if need be, apply for permits, secure better locations, build sets and, most importantly, stop editing on my broken-down Dell G5 15. It’s on its last legs.
Q: WHAT DOES A FUTURE WORLD LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
The future is the consolidation of a benign dictatorship of 3-to-5 tech overlords; their presence felt in every corner like a framed photograph of a despot in a butcher shop. Digital Sherman Antitrust acts look less and less feasible, but who knows?
New for the Class of 2022, CIRCA has introduced an additional cash prize of £10,000 powered by Piccadilly Lights that will be awarded to a finalist who receives the most public votes. Global audiences have until midday on 10 October to watch the final 30 films and vote for your favourite finalist to win the public vote.