If you like movies that empower and entertain, then you will love actor and director Walid Chaya’s work. Walid is based in Los Angeles and a voice for the Arab community. His short film “Driving Ms. Saudi” is an Official Selection of two more festivals, the Dubai Independent Film Festival and the Cairo Indie Shorts Festival where it is scheduled to screen this month.
Walid Chaya wrote, directed and starred in “Driving Ms. Saudi.” He plays a son who helps his Saudi mother put her future in drive when she panics in the driver’s seat for the first time. You’ll find that this film is inspired by real events in Saudi Arabia where women were finally allowed to drive as of 2018.
This marks the second festival in Dubai to screen Walid Chaya’s film, the first was Dubai’s prestigious WOW Mid-East Film Fair where Walid took home a top prize, winning the “Best Comedy Short” category. Walid also won “Best Short Film” at the Asia South East Short Film Festival.
“Driving Ms. Saudi” has been an Official Selection at over fifteen prestigious festivals including the St. Louis International Film Festival where it was a Critics Pick on the list of “11 Must-See Movies” featured by the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Additional screenings include the Amsterdam Independent Film Festival, Richmond International Film Festival, Verona International Film Festival, Miami Independent Film Festival and Ocean City Film Festival, to name a few.
Walid has made appearances at many of these screenings worldwide and has spoken on industry panels with renown international filmmakers. The short film “Driving Ms. Saudi” is based on a stage sketch Walid wrote that premiered Off-Broadway in New York City at The People’s Improv Theater, the famous live-venue awarded “Best of Comedy” by Time Out New York and “Best Comedy Club” by The Village Voice.
Walid said, “I believe that as an Arab-American artist in Hollywood, it is my duty to bring these crucial stories to light. I found this film to be the perfect vehicle to put my skills in action and support the #women2drive movement.”
You can seen “Driving Ms. Saudi” at the Cairo Indie Shorts Festival this month where it will also be considered for awards to be announced at the end of the festival. You can also see Walid in the upcoming feature film “Magic Hour” opposite Miriam Shor and keep your eyes peeled for more about his original feature, a movie musical currently in development.
For more information about Walid Chaya you can visit https://walidchaya.com.