ASW Meets Sultan Al Saud
Written by Serena Liegey
Sultan Al Saud: The Modern Day Visionary of a Dystopian Future
Born and Raised in Saudi Arabia, Sultan succeeded in breaking boundaries in the Film Industry.
- Congratulations on O2, it is such an interesting short with a captivating storyline. What inspired you to tell this story?
Thank you very much! With O2 I wanted to see if I can create a world with a unique aesthetic within the confines of a short film. A world that can be explored and taken in many different directions in terms of the stories and characters that can be introduced. I have always been fascinated by the idea of a dystopian world and what would happen if an essential part of our existence and society was removed from the equation and how would people react to that. The result is what you see in the film.
- What is the underlying message of this film? Do you feel as though certain governmental systems control too much in present day society?
The main focus of the film isn’t necessarily the world that we created. It’s more about the characters that we find in this situation. Our main character Marcus Davis is an Oxygen Trafficker trying to make a living in this new environment, and he is put in a situation where he has to make a choice and deal with the moral consequences of that choice. You could say that the message of the film is no matter what the situation is, the rule of morality and consequence remains the same.
- O2 is set in a dystopian future. As an audience member, what will be the most shocking element of the film in terms of our advancement into the future as a society?
The most shocking element of the film is probably is the idea of having to be attached to an oxygen tank 24/7 and dealing with oxygen almost like a currency. Oxygen being rationed is a pretty terrible idea, if you think about it. We’ve heard of food rations but a person can survive without food for over three weeks, but without oxygen it’s a matter of minutes.
- How did the screenplay change throughout the development of the film?
Originally the script started off completely different. It was initially about brainwashing and living under a facist government. I then thought that it had been done many times and it wasn’t that interesting when I had my first draft. Then I started thinking about systems of control and that’s when the idea of using oxygen as a means of control came to me. From then on every other element fell into place.
- What do you think would be a common question amongst viewers after they watch O2? Are you looking to raise any particular awareness?
Well, with O2 the intention is immersion in the world that we had created. We wanted introduce so many elements within the timespan of a short film, that the audience would feel like they want to explore this world further, even though it’s not necessarily the most pleasant reality.
- Once “02” is finished, what do you plan to do with the final product? Will you be submitting it to festivals and would you like to turn it into a feature film?
This is a proof of concept with the intention of developing it into a feature film. We are currently working on the script and hopefully we get the chance to go back into that world and explore different aspects and stories. We will be submitting them to festivals and we hope people will react to it the way we intended.
- What else are you and the other key creatives on “02” currently working on now?
We have been working on getting O2 ready for the festival circuit and figuring out where to premiere it first. I’m also about to head over to Canada to produce a a full length feature film directed by a good friend of mine David Findlay.
Since we wrapped on O2, my producer Carolina Lopes worked as a Unit Production Manager on a feature film called Saturday Church, which centres around A 14 year old boy struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and finds his passion in the process. It stars Luka Kain, Margot Bigham and Regina Taylor. It’s Directed by Damon Cardasis and produced by Rebecca Miller from Maggie’s Plan.
It’s an interesting film which deals with the many social issues facing society today, such as identity and finding one’s path and it’s definitely a movie to keep an eye out for.
In a world where the air is toxic and the government regulates distribution of Oxygen. Marcus Davis, an oxygen trafficker, is captured in order to help take down the resistance movement
Anthony Robert Grasso