We’re always happy to see Arab talent in the spotlight, but sometimes it’s the people who are behind the scenes that truly shine. That’s why we love that the young and multi-talented Noor Arnaoot is trying to leave her mark on the cinema industry at such a young age. eniGma’s Shadden El Banna talked to Noor about her life, her new project, and her love of filmmaking.
Noor Hilal Arnaoot, a Syrian-Slovenian writer and director based in Kuwait, is as versatile as a girl can get. Aranoot graduated from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and obtained a degree in filmmaking before moving back to Kuwait to pursue her career. Coming from such a diverse background, she managed to incorporate that into her latest project “Marriage: Impossible”. It’s a fun, fish-out-of-water wedding comedy involving two very different families brought together by marriage. They are forced to meet, interact, clash, and ultimately find a way to live with each other.
When did you know you wanted to be part of the entertainment industry?
I was always into entertainment as a kid; I sang, I played the piano, and I always used to do my own little shows with puppies and Barbies for the family and I’d make them buy tickets. When I graduated from high school, I went first to Canada to study business because I wanted something secure but the arts were always on my mind. After my first year, I realised that this was definitely not what I wanted to do so I applied for film studies, which is mostly theoretical work, more about being a film critic. I did that for a year, and I realised that I wanted to make movies rather than critique them. I also acted a few times in some productions but since I wanted to be the actual play maker, I applied to the Los Angeles branch of the New York Film Academy, which is in Universal Studios so the exposure is better; I mean, it’s Hollywood! After two years, I completed my degree and it kicked off from there.
What, in your opinion, makes a great script?
Obviously, I think everyone is going to answer this differently, depending on your personality as a director/filmmaker. But I think the main thing that attracts people in a script is whether or not it is relatable and realistic. People are attracted to films that deal with the things that happen to us on a daily basis that we don’t usually discuss or think about.
What personality traits do you think are most important in a filmmaker?
To be a successful director, you have to be able to read people and learn how to deal with them well because at the end of the day you have to talk to them and put them in a certain emotion so that they can relate to what’s happening to the character. For example, when I first meet some of my actors, I try to find out what really gets to them and makes them emotional or angry so that on set, I can extract that emotion. So I think the one thing to develop is a filmmaker’s people skills; knowing how and what to say in order to get a person to act a certain way.