David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

HAYA WASEEM JOINS OBJECT & ANIMAL IN US AND UK.
24 January 2023

Pakistani-Canadian director Haya Waseem, who recently signed with Object & Animal for representation in the US and the UK, has already completed two excellent pieces of work for her new company. Both exhibit the former editor's storytelling skills, as does her debut feature 'Quickening' which was an official selection at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

A recent film for non-profit 'Working With Cancer' captures the agony faced by cancer sufferers who feel unable to reveal to their employers that they're unwell, for fear of losing their jobs. It's a heartbreaking scenario, and many directors would have been tempted to make the pathos unbearable, but Waseem's restraint is more powerful, as it captures both the plight of those caught in this invidious situation and the grimly purposeful way they hide their troubles. This approach ensures that we're paying attention when it's revealed that as many as 50% of those with cancer feel the need to conceal it from those they work with.


Waseem's film for 'Seize the Awkward' is a game of two halves. The first thirty-five seconds focuses on the subtle and not so subtle ways that those struggling with mental health are encouraged to keep quiet about what they're going through. The tropes are familiar but no less impactful for that, and what follows is refreshingly hopeful, as those struggling are offered support from friends.

Again, it's Waseem's restraint that makes this stand out... each gentle offer of help is a balm to the viewer not because it's going to wipe away their friend's despair, but because you feel you're witnessing an important step on the long journey to recovery.


Lovia Gyarkye's Hollywood Reporter review of 'Quickening' - Haya Waseem's debut feature - is not unalloyed in its praise, but it is nonetheless brimming with positivity, especially in respect of Waseem's innovative use of movement and light to convey to underline the protagonist's frame of mind.

According to Gyarkye, "Quickening is first and foremost a beautiful film. Working with cinematographer Christopher Lew, Waseem captures Sheila’s life and inner conflict with breathtaking elegance. When Sheila is in class, the camera closes in on her face, and her head looks almost like it’s floating. As she responds to her professor’s question, her classmates, like a Greek chorus, stare intently at her. The scene is mesmerizing, haunting even. In another sequence, this time a family gathering, Sheila sits in the center of a room that’s bathed in a golden hue. The harsh blue light from her phone, to which she’s permanently glued, illuminates her brown face. These moments successfully highlight the isolation Sheila feels from her peers and her community."


It's little wonder that Object & Animal's Morgan Clement is effusive about their latest signing: "There's a depth and maturity to Haya's filmmaking, but it somehow also feels fresh and youthful. The quality and consistency of her storytelling is equally magnetic from her commercial pieces to her long form narrative work. We are so excited about this journey with Haya."

Haya Waseem returns the compliment: "I am excited to be joining the roster at Object & Animal because the EPs are true champions of great work and great talent. It's inspiring to be surrounded by strong creatives, in a supportive environment. I can't wait to share our work and keep building a bold vision for the future together."

These sentiments mirror the last line of Lovia Gyarkye's review of 'Quickening': "Its narrative ambition and visual acuity make me excited to see what Waseem does next."

And we're inclined to agree.

To see more of Haya Wassem's work, visit https://objectanimal.com/author/haya-waseem/ and to investigate her availability, contact Dom Thomas on 07796 692300 or via email using dom@objectanimal.com.

Stories

MATT TURNER JOINS NO.8 AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF COLOUR.

No.8 have a new Creative Director of Colour in the form of Matt Turner.


LOOP TALENT WELCOME PRODUCTION DESIGNER DELPHINE FYRST.

Danish production designer Delphine Fyrst has joined Loop Talent as she continues to make a name for herself in the UK.


GERMAN TORRES SIGNS FOR NM TALENT AT NM PRODUCTIONS.

German Torres has become the latest director to join the NM Talent roster at NM Productions.


FINCH SWOOP FOR ARUNDATI THANDUR.

FINCH have added director Arundati Thandur to the roster after the success of 'I'm Dying Inside' for Modibodi.


TV KLAXON: PIGLETS.

HunkyDory's Victoria Pile directs a new comedy for ITVX about police trainees.


1STAVEMACHINE AND EMIL NAVA LAUNCH AMMOLITE MACHINE.

Ammolite, the company founded by director Emil Nava in 2019, has become Ammolite Machine.


BLINK SNAP UP DANIELLE LEVITT.

American photographer and director Danielle Levitt is now on the books at Blink.


WILLIAM STEFAN SMITH JOINS BISCUIT FILMWORKS.

Director William Stefan Smith has signed for Biscuit Filmworks in the UK and the US.


ISBA, THE APA AND THE IPA AIM FOR PERFECT PITCH

Three trade bodies have come together in an attempt to create a less imperfect way of bidding for business.


FINAL CUT SIGN NAYIM SAATI.

Nayim Saati's career as a shit-hot editor has taken him from New York to Amsterdam, where his work for 72andSunny caught the eye of Final Cut.


LOOP TALENT LAND MARTI GUIVER.

Director of photography Marti Guiver is now represented by Loop Talent for commercials, music videos, fashion films, and more.


BENNETT JOHNSON ARRIVES AT MISSING LINK FILMS.

Director Bennett Johnson says Ben and Heather Link are "a bit of a dream team" as he joins Missing Link Films for UK representation.


JARED CLAYTON JOINS ACADEMY FILMS.

Self-taught director Jared Clayton is now on the books at Academy for UK and US work.


REVOLVER WELCOME TASO ALEXANDER.

Good news for Revolver as Taso Alexander joins for commercial representation Down Under.


FREDDIE CATTANEO SIGNS FOR RATTLING STUFF.

Freddie Cattaneo has become the latest addition to the roster at Rattling Stuff.


PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT FOR JELLY.

American creative workshop Practice are now represented by Jelly for global work.


SEBASTIAN THIEL AND SAM AND DAVID CUTLER-KREUTZ JOIN OB42.

Not one, not two, but three new faces have arrived at OB42: Sebastian Thiel and brothers Sam and David Cutler-Kreutz.


KEEGAN BRADLEY FACES ANOTHER TEST.

With Keegan Bradley in the news, DAVID thought he'd revisit one of the best golf ads of all time.


FILM KLAXON: DAMMI.

Yann Demange, director of ''71' and 'White Boy Rick', is back with an experimental short film about home and identity.


ODELAY FILMS SWOOP FOR JENNIFER SHERIDAN.

Comedy director Jennifer Sheridan is now on the books at Odelay Films.


DANIELA ROTARU JOINS TIME BASED ARTS.

Her country of birth may be out of Euro 2024, but Romania's Daniela Rotaru has every reason to be happy.


AI UP, IT'S KEANU REEVES!

Keanu Reeves plays a cybersecurity expert called in J in this Palo Alto Networks spot.


FILM KLAXON: ISAAC.

When a commentator says "It's been a tough road for Isaac Chamberlain" he means it.


PAUL BRIGANTI HEADS FOR RADICALMEDIA.

Comedy director Paul Briganti has joined RadicalMedia for commercial representation in the US.


IT'S CASWELL COGGINS FOR JOHNNY FOREIGNER.

Seasoned commercials director Caswell Coggins is now represented by Johnny Foreigner for all in-house work.


Stories

Address: Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.