Saudi filmmaker Dur Jamjoom is making a significant entrance into the film industry with her graduation film, "Kum-Kum," which was showcased at the Red Sea International Film Festival from November 30 to December 9. At just 23 years old, Jamjoom, who already boasts six short films in her portfolio, expresses gratitude and excitement for the opportunity, emphasizing the significance of having her graduation film featured.
The inspiration behind "Kum-Kum" stems from a personal experience in 2012 when Jamjoom, at the age of 12, lost a friend. Reflecting on her own emotional journey during that time, she recalls being labeled a "robot" due to her apparent lack of emotion. The film delves into the complexities of life and death, exploring how the passing of someone can profoundly influence the life of the living.
The narrative of "Kum-Kum" revolves around 17-year-old Duna, who witnesses the tragic drowning of a young girl named Salwa. Duna grapples with the aftermath, experiencing feelings of despondency and harboring a lifelong phobia of the water. Ultimately, she confronts her fears, recognizing the importance of teaching her younger sister how to swim.
Jamjoom embarked on the project in 2022 during a screenwriting course at Effat University in Jeddah. Initially conceived as a work in progress, she revisited the script for her capstone project, dedicating time to its development.
Jamjoom's passion for filmmaking dates back to her early exposure to musical.ly, TikTok's precursor, at the age of 11. Intrigued by the creative possibilities, she began producing videos, evolving from lighthearted recordings with her cousins to more serious endeavors. Her journey culminated in her presenting weekly works to her family.
Currently, Jamjoom is part of the Red Sea Film Foundation's Red Sea Labs, an institution that nurtures emerging filmmakers, providing guidance for feature films, short films, TV series, and music projects. She notes the emergence of a new generation in Saudi Arabia with innovative ideas and untold stories, paralleling the country's rapid development, symbolized by architectural advancements and initiatives like Vision 2030.
Jamjoom sees cinema as an integral part of Saudi Arabia's ongoing transformation, stating that the country is experiencing substantial growth on various fronts, with cinema playing a pivotal role in this developmental landscape.