Anasy Media, a UAE production company, has completed post-production on its first international feature documentary ‘The Tainted Veil', co-directed by US director Ovidio Salazar, Emirati director Nahla Al Fahad and Syrian Director Mazen Al Khayrat.
The documentary is an ambitious attempt to highlight the historical context of women from various religions and societies around the world covering their hair over the centuries, and aims to soften the current negative discord surrounding the timely debates on the issue of the Muslim veil.
Filmed in 9 countries by Salazar in 2008 and on hold until completion in 2015 by Al Fahad and Al Khayrat, the documentary features interviews with a varied selection of Muslims from Europe and the MENA region who discuss their reasons for choosing to wear, or not wear, the veil, as well as commentary from leading Muslim and non-Muslim specialists on Islamic culture and history.
Anasy Media was founded eight years ago and has since grown to produce a number of documentaries. The company also founded the Anasy Documentary Awards in Abu Dhabi to help promote the media format.
Executive Producer, Sheikha Al Yazia Al Nahyan, said, "The head covering is a re-occurring topic in most places, it is a social issue in much need of perspective, even in eastern societies where the hijab is practiced either correctly or not, there is a lack of debate regarding the ways and reasons behind the veil. 'The Tainted Veil' presents discussions surrounding the hijab for those searching for a better understanding about themselves and others and an acceptance of a woman's choice; to wear it or not."
Nahla Al Fahad is currently one of the UAE's most recognised female directors, with a long list of television commercials, popular music videos and corporate documentaries under her belt. "The Tainted Veil" is her first attempt at branching out into international content with the goal of screening the documentary around the world.
Al Fahad said, "I think we all need to calm down a little about this small piece of cloth, there are so many mis-conceptions and stereotypes attached to the veil so it was important to give access to real people and their opinions on wearing the veil."
Mr Al Khayrat says, "The unknown is what raises our interest and obscurity is behind agitation and troubles, it becomes a fear of what is different. 'The Tainted Veil' is a discussion of knowledge of a certain topic, without adopting the cause itself, roaming through the interconnected ideas in history, religion and people to reveal a truth and the facts."
Salazar is a veteran documentary filmmaker from California, known for his work on documentaries including Journey to Mecca starring Sir Ben Kingsley as narrator and Al Ghazali, The Alchemist of Happiness.
Anasy Media will screen the documentary at a private screening to VIPs, members of the press and industry on 15th June at the Everyman Cinema, Hampstead, London.