BURIED & FORGOTTEN
Written & Directed by
2021 (coming soon)
An alcoholic with a martyr complex struggles to stay sober while visiting home to see his dying Uncle and religious Muslim family. But a new revelation of sexual abuse is going to test him as he loses his grip on reality in this neo-noir tragedy.
This is Ali's directorial and producing debut:
Buried & Forgotten is my debut film. It explores Southasian family and mental health dynamics within a MeToo story. What ignited the inspiration for this story was wanting to explore the relationship between siblings who deal with trauma in polar opposite ways. The protagonist is consumed by his martyr complex, while his sister is resilient and self-aware. However, halfway through the story, once the protagonist learns of his sister's dark secret the rug is harrowingly pulled from under his feet.
I wanted to examine the mind of someone who is unable to separate his deranged thoughts from his own sense of self. Both of these characters have endured pain and trauma and need that to be acknowledged. But the protagonist's arc is a meditation on how when one is filled with self-hatred and is also incapable of finding solace and healing in their community, they can spiral down a rabbit hole to a very dark place. As the protagonist is seeking to purge himself of his demons, he commits the ultimate crime in the name of redemption.
Some of the challenges I experienced while making this film include: wearing multiple hats, having a very low budget as this was self-financed, losing a key crew member during production who caught Covid, and dealing with hurricane warnings and a severe weather storm during production, which forced us to consolidate two days of work into one day.
I was inspired by films such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Lost Weekend, The Joker, and Half Nelson. This was my first collaboration with every cast and crew member. Their passion for this story and what it expresses resonated through the entire process. I'm very proud of the grounded and realistic performances in the film and the way in which we dealt with very heavy subject matter. I'm very excited to share it with the filmmaking community!