Local filmmaker fights drugs the way he knows best

AMMAN — Keen to “do his bit” to fight drug abuse, Jordanian director Sameh Shweiter tackles the issue in his latest film “Men on a Mission”, which premiered in Amman earlier this week.

The film follows an Anti-Narcotics Department agent in his fight against drug smuggling and abuse. 

“Most of my productions revolve around the idea of drug abuse. It is a subject that I am very passionate about,” Shweiter told The Jordan Times on Monday at the film’s screening at the Royal Cultural Centre.

“I’m not a police officer so I might not be able to physically fight drug abuse, but as I see it, I can raise awareness about its many dangers through my camera,” he said.

HRH Princess Rym Ali attended the screening and honoured the film’s cast, crew and supporters, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

With plot twists and fight sequences, the 120-minute action film also gives way to some comedic relief in between intense scenes to keep the viewer entertained.

“I wanted to give the audience a break in between fight scenes because I didn’t want it to be too intense. I wanted people to be at ease throughout the film, but still understand the gravity of the issue being discussed,” Shweiter said.

The filming process took four months, and was shot in a variety of locations around the Kingdom such as Aqaba, Irbid, Wadi Rum, Zarqa and Mafraq. 

“I wanted to showcase the beauty of Jordan and promote it. I wanted whoever sees it to realise where the scene has been set,” the director said.

Shweiter, who was also one of the lead actors, worked on the script for two years before assembling a group of 200 aspiring amateur actors to be part of his movie. 

The director said he met the actors through the Jordanian Cinema Association, which he founded two years ago.

According to Shweiter, most of the cast and crew refused to be paid for their effort as a way of showing support, and the project was personally funded by him. 

However, he was thankful to the Royal Film Commission (RFC) for providing him with a camera and all the technical equipment he required.

RFC Project Manager Shadi Al Nimri said the energy and determination put into the work is commendable.

“This was a good effort given that majority of the crew was amateurs who worked hard to deliver a good performance,” he said.

This piece was published in The Jordan Times

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