October 17, 2016

INTERVIEW WITH AN ARTIST: LAUAND OMAR













I really enjoy learning what goes through the minds of other creative/artist. So when my creative friends are working on cool projects I figured I’d interview them regarding their process, inspiration, growth, challenges, accomplishments and everything in between regarding a life and career as a creative. My friend Lauand Omar + I have been friends for over 10 years now; we’ve traveled the world together, partied together and grown our respective crafts together. I've been talent/dancer on some of his project as well as set designer. He’s a writer, director, + producer with an innovative and creatively articulate envisions. His writing is non predictive and intellectually progressive. He's been working on the movie Curse Of Mesopotamia for over a year now and it's finally available to the US + Canadian market on iTunes + Amazon! In this interview I'm going to find out a bit more about the movie, his inspiration behind it, the best/favorite character along with any challenges he faced. With that said, I hope enjoy my interview with my dear friend Lauand Omar!



Name: Lauand Omar
Type of Artist: Writer/Director/Producer
Country/City Of Origin: Parents are Syrian born Kurd. I was born in Beirut Lebanon & spent ½ childhood between Tunisia & Germany.
Astrology Sign: Taurus
Animal Spirit: Dog - I have dreams of being a dog and playing with other dogs.
Super Hero/Alter Ego: Suzuki {Arab Superhero}
Go To Drink/Cocktail: Jack Daniels w/ very little ice & nothing beats a refreshing glass of water.
Vice-Guilty Pleasure: anything CHOCOLATE
Go To Love Song: “No 1. Crush” by Garbage: It’s a sad love song, but I think it’s very romantic.

T: Hey hun! What’s the latest with CURSE OF MESOPOTAMIA?
L: We finished filming a few months back and are now in postproduction. It’s the first English language horror film coming out of the Middle East, starring an international cast. It’s been a hell of a ride! We had to stop filming back in August 2014, because of the advance of the terrorist organization ISIS towards our location Erbil/Kurdistan Iraq. We finished filming in Amman/Jordan.



T: So what exactly is the movie about?  
L: It’s based on a Kurdish legend, from ancient Mesopotamia. I took the legend and played around with it, my story plays in the past and in the present. It’s about re-incarnation, about having to go back to take care of unfinished business, to be able to survive the present. It’s about overcoming your fears and fighting for freedom.

T: What was the inspiration for this movie?
L: I love Horror, and I’m kurdish, so the Kawa legend was pretty interesting and inspiring to me. I’m also really bored of watching the same horror movie over and over again, and bored of watching only war/terrorist movies about the middle east. There is so much more. History, Magic, Beauty.




T: How long did it take you to write this script?
L: I wrote the script a few years back, then put it aside, I think the first draft took 3 month.

T: What’s the scariest/darkest character in the movie?
L: That’s tricky. Each one of the viewers has its own fears, but one character will give everyone nightmares I’m pretty sure, but I can’t give that away. Its one of those where nothing is what it seems.
And the Zuleykha character is pure darkness. No one can escape her beauty, and she is here to destroy. Is she human? Is she a Demon? Temptation is the curse!




T: What do you want people to get/learn appreciate from this movie?
L: I want them to go on a journey, to face their fears, to test their senses. And help them remember who they were, or what they did, back then, in Mesopotamia.

T: Why did you pick an international cast?
L: I picked Actors I have worked with before, and a few I have been wanting to work with for a while. The story starts in Ancient Mesopotamia, nowadays Iraq/Iran/Turkey/Syria. So a lot of my cast have the middle eastern look, they are either of arab or latin background. Then we also have the Present day characters from the US and Europe, so it became a mixture of nationalities, which to me as a director  is very interesting, working with talents that have different backgrounds in the field and a different education and view on things. And the Producer in me always thought it go’s well with today’s global society, we are reaching viewers from all over the world.  


Top Left: Ana Carla Sinclair {Mexico}  Top Right: Hania Amar {Algeria}












Top Left: Melissa Mars {France}   Top Right: Kaoutar Boudarraja {Morocco}

T: How much of a say did you have in the style of the movies set and the scenes.
L: I worked closely with my art department, researching the era, 600B.C. As a director I’m open to other departments expertise and opinion and input. Teamwork.




T: What scene d├ęcor was your favorite?
L: I think the King’s meeting room came out really nice. A conversation between a King and a visiting Queen. Our Production Designer and Art Director did an amazing job especially in that scene. The scene looks insane on screen! The furniture, the colors, the cage with the present for the King. Very rich, pure beauty.  

T: Art is an ever-evolving thing. How do you manage to stay current as a creative? 
L: It’s nice to create something original that touches people yes, but I don’t think it’s something that you can plan or aim for. At least not in film. You can do sequels and remakes and rip-offs of concepts/stories that worked before and made a lot of money and make more yourself, but does that man you evolved? No. Evolve inside your mind, your head, staying current is hard to determine.






































T: How do you overcome writers block?
L: It sounds so scary, I haven’t had it. I have had days where I just can’t focus and be creative. But it never lasted more then a few days. And then right before falling asleep, bang, there there were, the thoughts, the visions, back to writing!

T: Which one of your projects are you most proud of?
L: Ask me this question by end of the year again and I hope I will be able to say Curse of Mesopotamia. It’s been such a long journey and so challenging, to keep fighting and pushing forward and not lose the magic and fun of the journey. But it’s not finished yet so for now I would say my first feature film Bekhal’s Tears. I was 27, had a minimal budget and faced a lot of challenges, but it came out, made a lot of noise, brought  a lot of light on women’s rights in Iraq. Lot’s of media attention, lot’s of haters, that’s always a good sign :)

T: Ok, so last question to wrap up our interview...if you could be any animal which would you be?
L: I think some animal deep down in the ocean.  Tranquility, another world, which sounds very comforting.



That’s such a great note to end the interview on. Lauand is known for having a dominant, rough around the edges, get on with it, take control personality. Many wouldn’t really believe he is as tranquil as he is. If it were possible I think spending the week as a deep-water sea creature is exactly what he needs to get away from it all, hide out and experience the existence of life with out the noise + demands of the world and the mind of an artist. 

I hope you enjoyed this interview, for more on Lauand Omar  + his movie Curse of Mesopotamia:
Lauand Omarhttps://www.facebook.com/LauandOmar1
Curse of Mesopotamiahttps://www.facebook.com/curseofmesopotamia

Get the Movie
iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/curse-of-mesopotamia/id1143412600
Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Mesopotamia-Melissa-Mars/dp/B01J2DG59U














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