SINGAPORE — Electriclimefilms director Omar Khalifa is a British writer, filmmaker, and former journalist who cut his teeth in TV news and programmes under Oscar and Emmy award-winning producers.
His commercial work includes films for clients such as Vodafone, Chevrolet, and Qatar Airways, and his award-winning narrative work includes New York Festivals gold in 2019 and Cannes Corporate gold 2019 for short INTERPOL drama, Aqila (2018).
Most recently, Khalifa released his new spot for Land Rover Defender, filmed in Qatar.
Here he discusses how he got into the industry and what he loves about the art of filmmaking.
“It’s mildly weird to think that filmmaking is my life. I like other things too. Maybe I haven’t really accepted it yet. Or maybe I don’t think I’m any good at it. But, I’ve always been interested in visual language,” Khalifa told electriclimefilms.
“When I got a job as a web journalist in Qatar, all around me were brilliant filmmaking teams, off to conflict zones, covering stories that I really cared about. I loved it. And I saw myself as a career video journalist.
“I started on that path but slipped off it when I felt we could tell stories in more subtle, visual ways than I felt I was exposed to in current affairs those days. So, by 2012, I shifted gears and became friends with advertising.
“My favourite part of filmmaking is the response. Good or bad. I love the fact a whole bunch of people somehow came together to execute a vision, and it gets out there for people to see. I love stimulating the masses, moving them.
“Some, if not all of my best work has been the super low budget projects, where we’ve had the most creative control, invented mad ways of achieving things, and all the laughs (and professionalism!) have made it worthwhile.
“I love capturing the subtleties of human interaction. I like actuality. Observing. I like capturing big, beautiful landscapes and smaller incredible locations with texture.
“And usually, in one form or another, some kind of escapism.”
To read the full interview and see Khalifa’s work, click here.
To learn more about electriclimefilms, click here.