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Talal Al Muhanna – filmmaker and producer

How are you spending the summer?

As I recently came back from a trip to Washington D.C. and New York City, I’ll probably spend summer in Kuwait to focus on a couple of documentaries in postproduction, including a Texas-set Arab-American project and a film shot between Lebanon and Argentina. Added to that, I’m organizing a crowdfunding campaign for an Iraqi feature called “Another Day in Baghdad”, so things are busy this summer. Still, I’d like to take time out to attend Valetta Film Festival in Malta, which runs from June 16-25. It’s a promising place for creative enterprise as it will be European Capital of Culture in 2018 and I’m fascinated by the idea of Kuwaiti artists having a presence there during the year of festivities and events ahead.

Who would be your ideal travel companion (real or fictional, dead or alive)?

When I was a teenager, I was into mystery novels and fancied the idea of being a successful sleuth. So I could imagine trailing Hercule Poirot – the detective in Agatha Christie’s novels – on one of his exotic trips on the Orient Express or a Nile riverboat. And as there’s always a crime to solve, there’d be no shortage of puzzling intrigue either…

Will you share your summer experiences on social media?

I am not the most agile user of social media – Facebook is about it for me. But, yes, you’ll get to see the occasional posting…

What’s on your summer reading list?

I just picked up a couple of poetry collections from Q8 Bookstore at Yarmouk Cultural Centre, one penned by Nada Faris (Artemis and other Spoken Word Poems) and another by Nejoud Al-Yagout (Awake in the Game of Pretending). I’m always curious to see what Kuwait-based creative talents are up to and it’s good to support local artists whenever possible.

Do you try to keep up with the news when you’re on holiday?

Only if its fake news of course – so much more entertaining after all!

Are holiday selfies ever acceptable?

Sure, why not, but don’t overdo it. While it’s nice to get a glimpse of a place and see what friends are up to – one doesn’t need to see EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT.

What will be your soundtrack to summer 2017?

Turn back the clock I say: Sinatra, Piaf, Nina Simone…

If you could go to any place at any time, where would you go and why?

I met Jacques Cousteau in Kuwait when I was kid and was a huge fan. So I’d say access to deep sea diving would be a great privilege. There are the most amazing sights and species in the depths of our oceans – but so much of it is under threat from environmental pollution sadly.

If you had one top travel tip, what would it be?

Be sure you take the right combination of chargers for all your devices…

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