Abu Rami

An elderly woman suspects her husband is cheating on her, and she isn’t prepared for what he confesses — although he isn’t prepared for what she tells him either.

Creative team

Writer/director: Sabah Haider
Producers: Sabah Haider, Sara Abu Zahra

Filmmaker’s statement

Before the war in Syria started, I was living in Beirut, Lebanon and I would often take a taxi to Damascus – which had a happening cultural scene – for the weekend to visit.

On one of these trips I was driven by a taxi driver who had two wives – one in Lebanon and one in Syria – and, as a woman, I recall wondering to myself, “I wonder if they know about each other?”

After the war in Syria started in the spring of 2011, I missed visiting that beautiful country. I recalled the conversation I had once had with that taxi driver and thought to myself it would be fun to write a short film based on that idea, but to make it in Lebanon, the place I called home, with characters that were more familiar to me.

After writing and developing my script, I spent almost two months casting for the characters of Mona and Abu Rami. Originally I planned to work with non-actors, however it proved to not be a feasible option for various reasons.

After I decided to search for professional actors, I quickly found Sihame Haddad and Elie Adabachi, and during my first encounter with them, I knew they were perfect. They completely make this film what it is.

With their support I launched a crowdfunding campaign to see if I could raise enough funds to make Abu Rami, since I didn’t want to deal with the timelines and uncertainty of institutional funding cycles.

Back in early 2012 crowdfunding was not a very common thing in the Middle East. However, I was amazed with how much support the project quickly attracted – not just friends and family, but so many complete strangers from around the world contributed significantly to making this film.

To each and every person and company that supported making this film, I’m grateful. And here we are now … 50 festivals and a few years later, I feel blessed to have been selected for NSI with a chance to share this film with a new audience. Thank you!

About Sabah Haider

Sabah Haider

Sabah Haider is a filmmaker and writer based in Montreal. She has made three short films and is in development on two feature projects.

Her 2012 short film, Abu Rami, has screened in over 50 festivals including Sao Paolo, Edinburgh, Abu Dhabi, Milan, Rome, Izmir, and has aired on the BBC.

Sabah is in post-production on her new short film The Legend of Ruby Pasha which has been supported by the Quebec Arts Council (CALQ).

She is currently a resident of the 2016 Cineplex Entertainment film program’s writer’s lab at the Canadian Film Centre.

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