Actor and filmmaker Usman Mukhtar has announced the indefinite delay of his award winning short film Bench. The film, which was set to release on May 20, made headlines when it was selected as a finalist by the International Short Awards earlier this year. It also won the best short film award at the South Shore Film Festival, New York.
Mukhtar's Instagram post read, "As excited as we are to show you our work, we are beyond devastated seeing all the atrocities being carried out in Palestine. In the wake of the unfolding events and out of respect for the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, we have decided to delay the release."
Mukhtar also took the opportunity to request his fans to pray for the Palestinian people, highlighting the importance of social media activism. Her wrote, “I would also like to take this opportunity to request everyone reading this post to please pray for the people suffering and keep sharing anything you can on social media.”
The film is based on a conversation between a couple navigating a crossroads in their relationship.
"What inspired me to write the film? Actually, nothing. Me and my friend, Ali [Mudar] were discussing potential storylines for a script that we wanted to explore, and kind of decided why not make it very simple and a dialogue between two people sitting on a bench. The story couldn’t be any simpler than what we discussed; Ali penned down the script and the project took off from there," he told Images of his motivation to make the film.