The UAE’s first woman filmmaker, Nayla Al Khaja, and music maestro AR Rahman are looking forward to their upcoming collaboration on ‘Baab’, reports ‘Variety’.
Written by Al Khaja and Masoud Amralla Al Ali, the film follows Wahida, who is unable to make sense of her twin sister’s mysterious death and is plagued by a haunting rhythm in her ears.
Rahman and Khaja were present at the Cannes Film Market to promote ‘Baab’. The composer’s directorial debut, the virtual reality film ‘Le Musk’, also had its world premiere at the market’s Cannes XR programme.
Talking about ‘Baab’ with ‘Variety’, Al Khaja said: “It’s about the four stages of grief, but we don’t say it so black and white. She [Wahida] creates a fantasy world to justify her sister’s death, because she’s young. They’re identical. They spent their entire life together. So how do you move on after that point?” Shooting for the film will begin in March 2023.
Al Khaja said to ‘Variety’ that she believes in serendipity as Rahman was in Dubai to set up the Firdaus Studio as part of Expo 2020 Dubai and mentor the Firdaus Orchestra, an all-woman ensemble of 50 musicians from 23 Arab countries. Rahman also composed the music for Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Why? The Musical’, which was part of the Expo.
Rahman started researching Arabic music when he was composing the music for Majid Majidi’s 2015 film ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’. For ‘Baab’ he is planning to use the Arab melodic system called ‘maqam’.