Interview With The Director: Zaki Hussain (“9956”)

The Best of Festival Cinema Invisible 2017

“I hope audiences would get inspired by the narrative and the sights of the beautiful city [Doha, Qatar].”

Interview with the Director: Zaki Hussain, “9956” (2016, Qatar)

 Zaki Photo

“9956” (2016, Qatar) screens January 7, 2017 as part of the “Visions & Voices” session at The Best of FCI Film Festival in Redding, CA.

Synopsis: Six months ago, after one of his marathons, Hassan, a determined 30-year-old Egyptian, got into a tragic car accident. He could not walk, let alone, run. Despite that, the stubborn athlete tried to walk again every single day. Now that Hassan has recovered and is able to comfortably run again, he decides to dedicate his time to his new sport – Crawling. In this exclusive interview, Hassan tells us more about crawling and how it has helped him to get his spirit up again after the accident. Just as life, when you fall, you have to keep crawling.

What inspired you to make this film?

“I love to poke fun in conventional screenwriting. I spend a lot of time watching cool mini-documentaries on Vimeo and realized that they have a certain structure. With that structure in mind, I decided to film 9956.”

What do you want American audiences to know about this film or about the subject matter?

“I’m glad that I get to show off a bit of Doha, Qatar, in this film. I hope audiences would get inspired by the narrative and the sights of the beautiful city.”

Is it difficult to make films in your home country?  Why or why not?

“Since I am fairly new to Doha, getting permits was the most challenging thing. I expect to have this challenge in any other country I am new to anyway. However, my friends managed to get a permit to shoot in any public spot in Doha, which is an achievement in itself.”

Director Bio:

Born and bred in Singapore, Zaki Hussain discovered his love for filmmaking while doing National Service. Thereafter, he moved to Qatar to attend Northwestern University in Qatar with hopes of pursuing filmmaking. This year, he directed his first short, the mockumentary “9956”, which is part of Doha Film Institute’s Made in Qatar Traveling Series that is expected to travel to Berlinale MarketCannes Short Film Corner and Sarajevo.



Festival Cinema Invisible has partnered with the Redding Chapter of Euprhates Institute and the Shasta County Arts Council to bring the two-day film festival, “The Best of FCI”, to Redding, California USA January  6th-7th 2017.

Films will screen from 6 pm-10 pm on Friday, Jan 6 and 12 pm – 10 pm on Saturday, Jan 7 at Old City Hall (1313 Market Street in Redding, CA).

Ticket options:

2-day, full-festival pass: $40
1-day pass: $25
1-session ticket: $10

Festival passes and tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite at :

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