26th Arab Film Festival

Shorts: Local Talent

Expired November 21, 2022 7:59 AM
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This year, AFMI is proud to showcase a collection of work by talented Arab directors, writers, producers and actors based in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Set in the historical Old City, in Ibb, Yemen, IN THE LONG RUN is built around a simple premise: burdened by the nearing arrival of guests, a housewife sends her kid to buy bread before lunch. But this errand soon transforms into a wondrous adventure. As Seven-year- old Ahmed runs determinedly through the alleyways—constantly distracted by the people and events (or perhaps non- events) around him—his journey becomes both a delicate observation of the familial community of Ibb, and an intimate voyage through the Old City’s endangered architecture and beautiful landscape. While Ahmed plays beads with other kids, stumbles into a funeral, and listens to folktales narrated by an 82-year-old, the looming question of whether he’ll make it home before lunch grows larger. Performed by city locals, IN THE LONG RUN presents gentle conversations about fear, fate, and faith. Yet, most importantly, it is a story of a child’s imagination, curiosity and wonder.

About the filmmaker:

Yousef Assabahi is a Yemeni writer and director based in Los Angeles. Assabahi’s work explores the place of memory, imagination, play, and work of culture in sites of ruin and exile. In 2018, he graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television with an emphasis on Directing. Assabahi’s work follows examples of filmmakers who have had to deal with filmmaking in make-shift fashion with untrained actors in and aftermath of political uprisings and instability. Influenced by neorealism, his upcoming work attempt to capture Yemeni traditions of orality, play, theatre, and spontaneous poetics as expressions of the self. In 2020, Assabahi returned to his hometown in Ibb, Yemen to produce a short film exploring the rich and historical architecture of his neighborhood that is at risk of demolition and erasure due to the bombing campaigns, looting, and absence of state governance through the eyes of a seven-year-old sent to fetch bread for afternoon lunch. While in Yemen, he also wrote and directed television commercials that draw on Yemeni customs and cultural imagery, involving local untrained actors. Amongst his early work is a senior project and fictional film, A Patriot Act, which captures the struggles of an undocumented FBI informant; his ambivalence and involvement in an entrapment case, showcasing the power dynamics between the state and vulnerable communities that internally shatter social relations. After graduating, Assabahi participated in the highly-selective Gold Program with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, receiving enhancement training from top industry professionals. Working between Yemen and Los Angeles, Yousef continues to write and strive to tell stories.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    21 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Yousef Assabahi
  • Screenwriter
    Yousef Assabahi
  • Producer
    Ala’a Amer
  • Executive Producer
    Mohammed Assabahi, Fawaz Al-Riyashi, Yousef Assabahi
  • Cast
    Ahmed Essam Farea’
  • Cinematographer
    Omar Nasr
  • Editor
    Fateh Alhaddi
  • Sound Design
    Ibrahim Fadhl
  • Music
    Marti Noguer