A new documentary by directors Ovidio Salazar and Mazen AlKhayrat explores the cultural and religious practices of women who cover their hair not just in the Middle East but around the world. Titled “The Tainted Veil,” the documentary explores why there is a controversy
Anasy Media, a United Arab Emirates production company has completed post-production on its first international feature documentary ‘The Tainted Veil’, co-directed by US director Ovidio Salazar, Emirati director Nahla Alfahad and Syrian Director Mazen AlKhayrat.
The doc, produced by Anasy Media, is an ambitious attempt at highlighting the historical context of women from various religions and societies around the world covering their hair over the centuries, and aims to soften the current negative discord surrounding the timely debates on the issue of the Muslim veil.
Shot in 9 countries by Ovidio in 2008 and was on hold until completed in 2015 by Mazen and Nahla, the doc features interviews with a varied selection of Muslims from Europe and the MENA region who discuss their reasons for choosing to wear or not wear the veil as well as commentary from leading Muslim and non-Muslim specialists on Islamic culture and history.
Anasy Media was founded eight years ago and it has since grown to produce a number of documentaries, the company also founded the Anasy Documentary Awards in Abu Dhabi to help promote the media format.
Executive Producer Sheikha Al Yazia Al Nahyan quotes “The head covering is a re-occurring topic in most places, it is a social issue in much need of perspective, even in the eastern societies where the hijab is practiced either correctly or not, there is a lack of debate regarding the ways and reasons behind the veil. ‘The Tainted Veil’ presents discussions surrounding the hijab for those searching for a better understanding about themselves and others and an acceptance of a woman’s choice; to wear it or not.”
Director Nahla Alfahad is currently one of the UAE’s most recognised female directors with a long list of Television commercials, popular music videos and corporate documentaries under her belt. Tainted Veil is her first attempt at branching out into international content with the goal of screening the documentary around the world.
Alfahad said, “I think we all need to calm down a little about this small piece of cloth, there are so many mis-conceptions and stereotypes attached to the veil so it was important to give access to real people and their opinions on wearing the veil.”
Co-director Mazen Alkhayrat says, “The unknown is what raises our interest and obscurity is behind agitation and troubles, it becomes a fear of what is different. The Tainted Veil is a discussion of knowledge of a certain topic, without adopting the cause itself, roaming through the interconnected ideas in history, religion and people to reveal a truth and the facts.”
Ovido Salazar is a veteran documentary filmmaker from California, known for his work on documentaries including Journey to Mecca starring Sir Ben Kingsley as the narrator and Al Ghazali The Alchemist of Happiness.
Anasy Media will screen the documentary at a private screening to VIPs, members of the press and industry on 15th June at the Everyman Cinema, Hampstead.
Note to Editors:
Founded by Sheikha Alyazia Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi in 2007. Anasy Media, an independent production company, has produced numerous documentaries notably the first film to document the 150,000 year old history of the UAE and the first 3D film in the region. The company also established the first Documentary Awards in the region and the Abu Dhabi Documentary club.