(MENAFN - Jordan Times) I was privileged to attend the private screening of "When Mona Lisa smiled" at the Royal Film Commission last week, a beautiful Jordanian movie by Fadi Haddad. From script to directing, cinematography, acting, production design and music, the film, by any standard, should prove a commercial success and a boon for Jordanian filmmaking.
The golden age of Jordanian cinema and a vibrant creative industry may be upon us.
I will not reveal the plot of the film because I really think it should be viewed in theatres, not because it is Jordanian but because it is that good. It is an uplifting film that involves real people whose stories hide behind closed doors yet beg to be told.
The film takes one around Amman, from alley to alley, door to door and person to person. It flips one from sad, happy and funny within seconds and intrigues throughout. It makes one think about our social fibre and the stories that make this country a home.
Cinema houses in Amman will most likely rush to show this film, and Jordanian moviegoers will want to see it.
In governorates and municipalities where there are no movie theatres, the film can be seen in town halls, cultural centres and open spaces. The producers and distributors have figured it all out. All Jordanians should be able to see it.
Because the cinematic arts are also viable export products and those with authentic local stories can also be a way of showcasing Jordan, the film should be distributed worldwide.
The Royal Film Commission, Jordanian embassies, the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation, the Jordan Investment Board, the Jordan Tourism Board and any organisation that is tasked with promoting Jordanian products, whether at home or abroad, must vie to promote the film to foreign audiences and assist the film distributors in taking it across markets.
It will thus become an export and the revenues garnered from it can become manifold, especially if it encourages films of similar caliber to be produced.
With such movies, a thriving new export industry will emerge. Furthermore, it and other movies will serve as credible advertising campaigns for Jordan overseas. Imagine hundreds of Jordanian films traversing the globe, sharing stories set in the beauty of the land and the humanity of its people.
Now to the last issue: Like me before seeing it, many may wonder why a Jordanian movie is called "When Mona Lisa smiled". They will figure it out when they see it.