New 1001 Inventions Short Film to World Premiere in Dubai 2015



  • Ahmed Salim’s short ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ to premier at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF)

  • Omar Sharif helps bring 11th Century scientist Ibn Al-Haytham’s story to life in UK and UAE co-produced film

Dubai – November 10, 2015: The legacy of renowned Egyptian actor Omar Sharif will be celebrated at the 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) this December through the world premiere screening of his last film, ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’. Sharif, whose passing in July saddened the world of film and beyond, came out of retirement to support the short film from award-winning director and producer Ahmed Salim, which will be screened twice at this year’s DIFF. It forms the final part of the 15-strong line-up of films in the Muhr Gulf Shorts category at the Festival.

The UK and UAE co-produced film focuses on the scientific journey of 11th Century Arab polymath and philosopher Ibn Al-Haytham. It follows his journey to discover the nature of light and vision, which helped set the foundation for modern science and named him the father of experimental physics, modern optics and scientific methodology, as well as a grandfather of the camera obscura – the device that forms the basis of photography and cinematography. The story was one close to Omar Sharif’s heart, who studied physics before embarking on his groundbreaking film career. Taking the lead role in the short film, Sharif guides younger audiences through a partly animated storyline of Ibn Al-Haytham’s journey into understanding vision.

As one whose life in and out of film was responsible for great strides in Arab cinema both in the region and across the globe, Sharif collaborated with UK based organisation 1001 Inventions to showcase the importance and amazing possibilities following your dreams can offer. Filmmaker Ahmed Salim dedicated the short to this legacy after Sharif’s passing.

‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ will be joining the exceptional Muhr Gulf Shorts line-up, which each year showcases the best of regional talent and cinematic courage.

DIFF’s Artistic Director, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, commented on Omar Sharif’s legacy and the film’s addition to the Muhr Gulf Shorts category:

We were deeply saddened by the passing of Omar Sharif, whose career and life has left a lasting impact on the film industry and beyond. DIFF awarded Omar Sharif with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the first edition in 2004, and today with his great strides in Arab cinema it is very fitting that we honour his last film in the Muhr Gulf Short Film category, which we strive to ensure showcases the best talent and ingenuity from across the region and to the wider cinematic world.”

Filmmaker and Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions, Ahmed Salim commented:

I am truly honoured that our short film will have its World Premiere in Dubai but saddened that Omar Sharif will not be with us. Ibn Al-Haytham’s inspirational life and his contributions to our world deserved to be appreciated by everyone especially the world of cinema and photography. This film attempts to honour his legacy and I hope it will engage the hearts and minds of millions of young people around the world.”


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The film is officially endorsed by the United Nations proclaimed “International Year of Light (IYL2015)” and will be part of an Ibn Al-Haytham global campaign led by Ahmed Salim in partnership with UNESCO and 1001 Inventions that includes exhibits, books, live shows and learning materials.

The animated part of the film was created by UAE film makers Blink Studios.

To watch the trailer for ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ please visit

The 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will run from December 9-16, 2015. Ticket packages start from just AED 275, for more information please visit:





About DIFF

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the region. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 12th edition of DIFF will take place from December 9 – 16, 2015.

For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit


About Ahmed Salim

Ahmed Salim is a producer of award-winning transmedia productions including films, international exhibitions, live shows, books and high-profile educational campaigns that have engaged more than 200 million people around the world. His educational projects have been endorsed and supported by a global network of partners that include the United Nations, UNESCO and National Geographic. He appears on the 2015/2016 list of the world’s ‘500 Most Influential Muslims’.

Omar Sharif, director Ahmed Salim and Macey Chipping on the set of ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’. Standing In the background producer David Pope (Source)

About Blink Studios

Established in 2005 in the United Arab Emirates, award-winning Blink Studios is a content development and production studio committed to delivering entertaining visual experiences targeting children and families across the Arab world and beyond. Blink’s success slate includes high-value TV productions like “Captain Karim Wa Qitar Al Hikayat” (“Driver Dan’s Story Train”) and the return of “Iftah Ya Simsim” to Arab-world screens.  Additionally, are internationally-awarded Short Films including “Ostora” and “Daddy ABC” and now premiering at DIFF 2015 is the UK-UAE co-produced short film,  “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al Haytham”. Blink Studios’ business model thrives on the ability to manage high-budget, wide-scope and long-form productions setting it apart to its contenders across the Gulf & Middle East in delivering cutting-edge content that aims to surpass investor, filmmaker, broadcaster and audience expectations worldwide.

Learn more about Blink Studios:

Exclusive Footage: 

Contact 1001 Inventions to obtain rights to exclusive footage of Omar Sharif speaking about his performance in this film:

Omar Sharif working with director and producer Ahmed Salim (on the right)


Contact 1001 Inventions to obtain high resolution photographs of Omar Sharif on the set of this film and other production shoots: