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NYFA Filmmaking Alumna Ahd Kamel Stars in Netflix’s “Collateral”


New York Film Academy 1-Year Filmmaking Program alumna Ahd Kamel will star in upcoming Netflix and BBC collaboration “Collateral.”

As reported in Stepfeed, “Collateral” is a 4-part thriller set in modern-day London, which explores the aftermath of the fatal shooting of a delivery man. Kamel will portray a Muslim woman named Fatima, acting alongside Oscar-nominated superstar Carrie Mulligan as well as British actors John Simm, Billie Piper, and July Namir. The series is written by Oscar-winning screenwriter David Hare, known for such films as “The Reader” and “The Hours.”

Kamel is a multi-hyphenate artist, especially notable as a female filmmaker in an industry and nation where women are extremely underrepresented. With a background in animation, Kamel has broken barriers not only an actress and filmmaker, but according to Huffington Post is also developing a new comic book series within the SGR (Saudi Girl Revolution) universe.

The actress is perhaps best known for her turn as the severe headmistress in Haifaa Al-Mansour’s groundbreaking “Wadjda,” which follows a young Saudi girl in her quest to acquire a green bicycle by raising funds through a school competition. As the Washington Post notes, “Wadjda” made history: The film was not only the first Saudi film to be submitted to the Oscars race, but also the first feature created entirely in Saudi Arabia by a female filmmaker. Kamel’s own filmmaking debut “The Shoemaker” won Best Short Film at Beirut International Film Festival and won Special Jury Mention at the Arab Film Festival of Oran, Algeria. Her sophomore film “Sanctity” screened at the Berlin Festival, setting a record as the first Saudi film to do so.

Kamel told Your Middle East that she is not interested in sending messages with her work, but rather in asking questions, using film for expression, and drawing inspiration from life. For her, there is a universal story to tell: “Being Saudi definitely opens the door, but I have to walk through it,” she told the magazine … “I think for me to grow, I need to be able to find humanity in any character and to be able to make any story regardless of its origin.”

“Collateral” is due to release sometime in 2018.

Kamel was named by Vogue Arabia as “the breakout star for the times.” Kamel told Vogue, “I feel very blessed to do what I love. When I was younger, I was asked, ‘You come from a respectful family, why did you choose the arts? … We have to tell our stories.”