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The film follows Emirati 16 year-old Mansoor and Kaltham as they struggle with traditions and conventions on their journey towards adulthood. Bound by family and deeply rooted values, the pair must find the courage to forge their paths.


Nawaf Al-Janahi


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Al Mulla Omar Al Mulla ... Mansoor
Neven Madi Neven Madi ... Kaltham
Abrar Al Hamad Abrar Al Hamad ... Sultan
Khadeeja Al Taie Khadeeja Al Taie ... Maryam
Aisha Abdulrahman Aisha Abdulrahman ... Umm Mansoor
Hasan Rajab Hasan Rajab ... Abu Jasim
Bilal Abdullah Bilal Abdullah ... Abu Mansoor
Ali Al-Jabri Ali Al-Jabri ... Shahid
Ahmad Iraj Ahmad Iraj ... Jasim
Mahmood Al Yassi Mahmood Al Yassi ... Salooh
Abdulrahman Al Mulla Abdulrahman Al Mulla ... Salooh's Friend 1
Mariam Hussein Mariam Hussein ... Owaish
Nadwa Mahmoud Nadwa Mahmoud ... Umm Owaish
Ali Khamis Ali Khamis ... Salesman
Abdullah Alramsi Abdullah Alramsi ... Big Guy


Mansoor, a 16 year-old teenager, living in a coastal "freej" (an Emirati neighborhood), has strong feelings for 16 year-old girl Kaltham. But culture and tradition, as well as family hardship, make it difficult for him to express his feelings. A conversation with his "know-it-all" friend convinces him that a gift is the best way to express love, and so, he begins to look for ways to save money for the gift without arousing the suspicion of his family and friends. Written by Anonymous

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Who Do You Want To Be?


Drama | Romance



Official Sites:

Official site



Release Date:

17 November 2011 (United Arab Emirates) See more »

Filming Locations:

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The film was announced by Imagenation Abu Dhabi on 14 May 2010 in Cannes Film Festival as the company's first Emirati film production. See more »

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User Reviews

A Portrait of Growning Up in the Emirates

UAE filmmaker Nawaf el Janahi's second feature draws an intimate portrait of life in the small seaside vicinity of Ras Al-Khaimah. Emirati teenager Mansoor delivers fresh juices made by his mother. He's in love with Kaltham, the prettiest girl in the neighborhood, but has to find the means of expressing his sentiments within the restraints of local etiquette. Kaltham on the other hand, is struggling with her indifferent father who's ignoring his family after the death of his wife.

The struggles of a young man moving into adulthood has a universal reach. Janahi portrays this with a deep understanding of the local environment and built the narrative around it. Written by one of the most gifted UAE scriptwriters today, Mohammed Hasan Ahmed, these young filmmakers are marking a new wave of cinema coming from the GCC. They are basing their work from within their culture in content and style.

"Sea Shadow" accentuates a part of the Emirates unfamiliar to the rest of the world. This film goes to the very essence of traditional Emirati families, living in homes and sometimes facing financial troubles amongst other things, just like anybody else. It creates the proper mood that helps the audience identify with its characters without drifting away from local values.

The development of characters succeeds by understanding their motives. Kaltham's father's reaction, as much as it is annoying, is due to prolonged grief. While Mansoor's mother's aggressive nature is that of a woman in charge of her family now that her husband is in a wheel chair. The consequences of their actions might turn dramatic, especially for Kaltham.

The films follows a nice rhythm all the way to its conclusion, but misses at times the climaxes needed to close certain scenes. As much as the events are crucial, the thrill is sometimes lacking.

Al-Janahi succeeds in this initiative to portray the complexities of growing up in the Emirates.

Find all of our film and festival coverage, as well as our events and education at www.DohaFilmInstitute.com. Follow us on Twitter @DohaFilm.

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