MFA Filmmaking graduate Farah Fuad ALHashem has been making waves with her short film, Seven Hours. The film won two awards at the Women’s Independent Film Festival in Santa Monica — one for Best Screenplay and one for Best Actress. Since then, Farah has won Best Short Arab Film in The Independent European Film Festival 2014. The film is scheduled to screen in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, as well as China, Nepal, India, Romania. Because of its appeal, the award-winning short has screened in over 31 festivals around the world, including Cannes Film Festival Court Métrage.
The seven minute short, filmed entirely on her iPhone, came from a personal love story. At the time, Farah had been dealing with a long distance relationship — she was living in New York and her partner was in Beirut. The seven hour time difference between those two cities actually had a profound affect on her emotions, changing the strength of her relationship.
Like so many of our degree students, Farah took advantage of NYFA’s opportunity to study at both our main campuses. She began her studies at our New York campus and finalized her MFA in Los Angeles.
Originally, Farah graduated from Lebanese American University with a BA in Journalism in 2009, but was quickly looking for a change or new perspective on her career. She felt that getting an education at NYFA was the perfect solution. “There is nothing more groundbreaking than starting a new phase in New York City,” said Farah. “NYFA helped me understand myself, and shaped my style of cinema and who I want to be.”
Farah had a rather comical analogy in describing her time at NYFA. “It’s like the Italian mother I never had — pushy, loud and tough on me. NYFA taught me to work on myself on a daily basis. It was like boot camp for cinema. It made me understand everything I needed to know and gave me the tools to look for knowledge in the right places.”
In addition to promoting and touring with Seven Hours, Farah has been in production on a feature film, Breakfast in Beirut, that she began developing at NYFA Los Angeles. Production on the feature is scheduled to wrap this Fall.
If you’re anxious as us about watching Farah’s award-winning short film, have a look below!