Elie al Hajj needs your help!

by Christopher Osborne.

Elie Al Hajj is a talented singer, actor , musician and film director. And he needs help…

Elie Al Hajj is a talented singer, actor , musician and film director. And he needs help. Maybe your help? More of this towards the end of the article. 

His latest production is “Victims”, a 9-minute short action film with a twist that Elie created with DOP and Director Anton Lumo. Shot in Belarus on Super 8, this movie demonstrates how this format can be used to create beautiful stories. 

The movie was shot over two days with a volunteer cast on a measly 15 rolls of film, and a total production budget of just $4,000! “Each shot was meticulously planned, and shot in just one or two takes”, Elie explains. 

The result is proof that low budget doesn’t necessarily mean low quality when it comes to filmmaking. Stunning acting, brilliant cinematography and a simple but quirky storyline make “Victims” well worth a watch. 

Elie’s journey into cinematography began with collecting VHS recordings of movies from the 1970 & the 1980s. These copies were telecinema copies and so the scratches and dust marks were copied onto the videotape. “Watching a film at home is like experiencing the movie in the cinema” explains Elie. 

His first Super 8 movie was “So Refined”. It was shot in Minsk, Belarus in 2017. Processing and scanning were done by Pro8mm in Burbank, California and the result was sent to several film festivals. It won 1st prize in a competition run by Pro8mm and the prize was free processing for 15 rolls of film. And it was this prize was used to process “Victims”. 

He has also shot three full-length movies, and so far one has been released. “I’d Prefer Your Problems Princess” was released in 2018. A simple unemployed foreign guy living in Belarus is in trouble, he owes money to people 10,000 in value and has 1 week to return this amount or else he meets his death. While walking in the forest lost and thinking where to get the money, suddenly finds Tanya. A rich girl escaped from her father because she wants to be married in Madagascar, but her father wants her wedding in Minsk. 

Elie not only directed the movie but plays against Olesya Grybok  . I asked him about his preference for starring in his own movies. “I am not limited to music only. And it is fun”. 

There is no doubt that he has a talent for finding and adapting simple scripts. His movies are simple heart-warming stories, have a dash of rom-com, and a splash of humour.

So, here is the rub. There is no doubt that Elie is an extraordinarily talented person. There is no doubt that he can create fantastic movies on a small budget. However, he needs help with the business side of filmmaking. Help with funding new projects, and assistance with marketing and distribution of his creations. If you have suggestions, or can help, then please reach out to him at elie_al_hajj@hotmail.com

And if you are a “filmie”, then you might be interested in this article on  “Verzerrung” by Sam Punto.

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