Yaz Rabad

An Ode to 'Karim'

Note: The above film contains mature subject matter. Viewer Discretion is Advised.

May 11, 2007. 10 years ago. That’s how long it’s been.

10 years ago, my fourth year thesis film, Karim, premiered at the Royal Cinema as part of the 2007 Ryerson University Film Festival.

In preparation for this posting, I've tried to watch Karim a few times now but can never seem to make my way through the damn thing. I'm not sure why that is. I don't think this reaction comes from a place of shame or insecurity or anything like that... I think maybe it has more to do with Karim being one of the most personal films I have ever made and it possessing this huge weight - weight I don't really care to revisit these days.

Still, Karim was a big deal for me, so here we are.

If I could use one word to describe the production, it would be exhausting. The dark subject material, the logistics of the shoot, the scope of the production, a maniacal director (it's true)... looking back on most of it, the whole thing feels like a bit of a nightmare. As I reflect on the production thinking back on production, the concept of relaxation is non-existent... as I look through set stills, smiles are seldom seen. Set was madness, more often than not. But then maybe that was what was needed to get Karim to where it needed to be, because I can’t really imagine this film turning out the way it did if the cast and crew joined hands and sung Kumbaya between takes.

I will say that the cast and crew I had along for this ride were the best fuckin' cast and crew I could have ever asked for, full stop. I also can’t begin to thank my parents enough for letting this group of misfits invade their home, vandalizing bedroom walls and flooding washrooms all in teh name of art. That's love.

The film itself is far from perfect. It has its faults. But I'll be damned if I'm not proud of it. Ryan Persaud kills it in the lead. There are moments that work. The film is grounded and gritty, but remains visually engaging. Most importantly, I know the film makes one feel - which is honestly all I ever gave a damn about.

Anyway, I apologize for going on and on. If all this sounds super self-indulgent or egotistical or some other shit, well, deal with it. Karim was a big deal for me. In man ways, it still is. So I'm treating it like one.

Check out the film above. Trailer, poster and set stills below. Peace and blessings.