Hammam Shafie

Hammam Shafie: Actor, Dancer, Singer, Director, Choreographer and Producer of Stage, Film, TV, Industrials and Commercials for the past fifty years and counting.

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
The Secret is a movie about a man who is in a race against his own time on planet Earth to save his beloved wife from a soaring pervasive disease that is now a global crisis.

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What are your ambitions with your project?
Our objective is to show the physical, emotional, and financial devastation that this pandemic can wreak on society. Thus far there is no cure, but through projects like 'The Secret' we can educate people to be aware of it, and like the actor in our project who believes that you can cure it if you learn "The Secret", if not maybe the secret can slow it down.

Globally, the cost of dementia was estimated to be $1.3 trillion USD in 2018 (World Alzheimer Report 2018). This cost will again rise exponentially as the number of people living with dementia is projected to triple by 2050.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
At first, we started shooting this film as an experiment, and we did not intend it to be more than 5-10 minutes max. However, as we delved into the subject matter, we realized that we must expose all aspects of the story and the ten minutes expanded to 130 minutes.

What was pleasantly surprising is the dedication, commitment and hard work of the cast and crew. Most of them are seasoned in their respective fields, long hours, low budget was not in question. They valued their work, and they invested whatever it took to see the film to its fruition.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
This movie is made for all spectators, dementia does not discriminate between gender, race or financial status.

Why should distributors buy your film?
They should distribute this film not just for making money, but also for the entertainment and educational values "The Secret" brings to the worldwide audience.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
I'm a driven individual who isn't afraid to face a challenge. I'm passionate about my work. I work hard and I know how to get the job done.

The writing-story-dialogue is superb, the characters are well defined, the cinematography is beautiful, the actor's performance is great, the music is top notch, the choreography and dancing is Broadway style, and that makes this movie great.

Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
Filmmaking has been a childhood love passion. I have been working in film. TV, and musical theater; writing, directing, producing, choreography, music and editing for the past fifty years.

Who is your role model?
My father is my role model. He worked tirelessly to raise ten children, and no matter how hard it got he never quit. In the movies I admire all film makers because I know how hard it is getting a movie canned.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
I do not have a favorite movie because I like them all, especially the ones that deal with real issues.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I get my inspiration for my films from the human stories that unfold live before my eyes on daily bases. 

Which topics interest you the most?
I like to tackle topics that are daring, have not been touched upon, creative and will benefit the humane race, and at the same time can be entertaining.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
The greatest achievement is to see my students achieve their goals. As a teacher of the arts, I taught for many years, my students range from 7-80 and to see the spark of exhilaration in their eyes getting things done after subjecting themselves to my grueling instructions is satisfying.

What do you consider most important about filming?
Most important about filmmaking is working with people on a common goal and achieving it.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
Best technique for shooting is having Pre Production, Production and Postproduction planned. Make sure you have a road map for your destination. Storyboard every scene and rehearse it well, if you are shooting in old school film you can't make too many mistakes it can be costly. If you are shooting digitally, it is ok, however, time is precious.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
Some of the current films are fantastic and outstanding in the quality of filming, performance and the humane value. Some films leave a lot to be desired and better off left in the trash bin of history.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
What is disappointing in some of these films is the spreading of hate and violence and betting one group or race against another.

Who supports you in your film career?
I get support from mother, wife, family, friends, co-workers, and investors, most of the time from myself.  "A dream you dream alone is only a dream-A dream you dream together is reality"?

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)
The Secret has been well received and selected as a semifinalist in: New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Santa Fe, Dallas. Oakland, Vince Italy, Dublin, Paris, and Prague.

The Secret won Best Feature Film in Seattle Filmmakers Awards, Best Feature Screenplay in International Cosmopolitan Film Festival of Tokyo and Best Characterization Film in the Newsfest Film and Writers Festival

Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
Yes, I have attended the Newsfest Film and Writers Festival in Santa Monica, California where The Secret won Best Characterization Film.

What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere?
Currently I'm working on an episodic black comedy TV series "Hollywood Untouchables."

Life during the Covid 19 pandemic was no laughing matter.