Zenofar Fathima, the CEO and Founder of Zen Productions – an independent film production company in Dubai – talks to QNA about how she started filmmaking, her interest in social activities, her acting plans, and much more. Zenofar Fathima is filmmaker, actress, and entrepreneur.
How did you venture into filmmaking?
Zenofar Fathima: I used to be a journalist and I already had that exposure into what it means to tell a story. Whether it is on the news or in a film, it’s all the same. In the end, you are trying to tell a story from your own perspective. So that’s what interested me when it comes to film, and that is also what inspired me to get involved.
You do so many social activities too – what is your drive behind it?
Zenofar Fathima: It actually comes back to why I do filmmaking. If you’ve seen most of my films, they all hold a moral message for the audience to think about. And that’s really why I got into filmmaking because not only is it the art of storytelling but quite often you are trying to tell a story that someone else has personally experienced and it resonates with them. Social awareness is very important in this case because there are many issues people do not talk about when there actually needs to be a conversation about it. So whatever social activities I do, and whatever films I make, I do it with the intent of wanting to make the world a better place. If you have the power to do something and make a change, you should do it.
How did you come up with the idea of “This is how we do it” and what are you trying to achieve with it?
Zenofar Fathima: Well, it all started off with me hearing from many friends and colleagues that quarantine was getting very boring, and all they were doing is sleeping, mindlessly scrolling on social media, and nothing else. So, I decided to start this competition to get everyone to become a little more active and fuel their creativity whilst at home. I felt this could be like a stress buster and something fun, along with it this will get people to interact with their families and have fun together to win cash prizes. It beats depression because depression and overthinking usually happens when we have nothing to do, so this would keep them busy. There are multiple rounds for this competition, so it guarantees that participants will be kept busy and will keep their creative juices flowing while in quarantine. I believe that everyone is creative in their own way, whether it is in photography, filmmaking, and more. So this is a good opportunity for people to show off their creativity.
What is more close to your heart Acting / Directing / Judging?
Zenofar Fathima: I think each of them requires a different set of skill sets and that is what is so interesting about all three of them. I see them as equal.
You have acted in so many films – is there any project in the pipeline?
Zenofar Fathima: Right now I am currently working on a project that is highly relevant to the current situation.
You have acted with so many known Bollywood names like Sonu Sood / Mukul Dev / Rahul Dev. Tell us about your experience?
Zenofar Fathima: I had a very good experience with all of them. They’re very kind souls and they taught me a lot when we worked together. They’ve also given great advice and feedback on my work and it’s always nice to hear someone from the same field as you praising your work.
If you have to give a message to our readers – what would you like to say?
Zenofar Fathima: Stay safe and stay at home is the most important thing I’d tell everyone. Keep in touch with people like your friends and family. Try and spend more time with yourself too during these times, and you’ll learn so much about yourself.