Video: Edinburgh timelapse director unveils new film

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AWARD-WINNING film-maker Walid Salhab, whose Edinburgh-based timelapse films have racked up over 1.5 million hits, has announced a new film slated for a summer release.

Salhab, a media lecturer at Queen Margaret University, has unveiled a trailer for his latest project, Avaritia - Latin for greed - which he began shooting last month.

A screenshot from the trailer ofWalid Salhab's new film, Avaritia

A screenshot from the trailer ofWalid Salhab's new film, Avaritia

Avaritia, a low-budget film which is expected to take seven months to make, is about “the state of the banking system”, but also a parable on consumerism and loneliness. The trailer features the wealthy but isolated Adam wandering Princes Streetm, searching for his true love - which, as the twist to the trailer reveals, is money.

“The film is a statement on the state of the banking system and how people are trapped by it,” Salhab says. “I don’t want to say brainwashed, but [people] are forced to buy things.

“We live in such a consumer driven society that sometimes we forget the important things in life like health, happiness, family and friends.”

Drawing from a scene from the film, Salhab adds: “When Adam touches the girl, he doesn’t see the girl - he sees money, and how to make money from her.”

A screenshot from the trailer of Walid Salhab's new film, Avaritia

A screenshot from the trailer of Walid Salhab's new film, Avaritia

The trailer for Avaritia, as Salhab explains, is a prequel of sorts for the film itself - unlike the trailer, the film will be shot in black and white, and will be based mostly in Edinburgh’s Portobello area and the Royal Mile, although some scenes will also be shot in Princes Street.

Avaritia will feature Salhab’s widely praised stop-motion and timelapse filming techniques, but he says that the film will advance the pain-staking craft seen on previous films such as Kinetic Edinburgh and the award-winning Bra-et Al Rouh.

“I wanted to create a new style, as far as having the camera move all the time. [The camera] looks like it’s on sliders, but it’s actually all photographs.”

Walid Salhab, the accidental film-maker

Walid Salhab was a graphic designer and TV producer in Lebanon before turning his hand to film-making in 1993 (something he calls “an accident”). He then took a sabbatical from film-making and became a teacher before picking up a camera again in 2006 to make a documentary on Lebanese refugees, One Day In August.

On his decision to make movies again, Salhab recalls a protest he took part in in Edinburgh several years ago.

“One day I was flying a Lebanese flag at a protest, and I was standing there thinking ‘why am I holding a flag; I could be holding a camera!’”

Salhab is best known for the award-winning Bra-et Al Rouh, a short film about a young Palestinian girl who befriends a homeless man, which won plaudits at Cannes Artisan Festival International and the California-based Best Shorts Awards.

• For more information on Walid Salhab’s films, visit Brat-et Al Rouh will be screening at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on February 21.