Experiencing Interruptions?

Best Friends Forever

When Person is attacked by feverish Anxiety, they struggle to overcome it. Person pursues conventional methods to deal with Anxiety, however it strikes harder. Person escapes, and seeks comfort in nature and meditates in the depth of calming water, where Anxiety doesn’t have a place. Person emerges from the water, calmer, and befriends Anxiety; they realize that they’re meant to be together forever.

  • Mariam Khayat
  • Mariam Khayat
  • Mariam Khayat
  • Jenna Clear
    Voice Over
  • David Amberg
    Voice Over
  • Zilai Feng
    Voice Over
  • Empress Christian
    Voice Over
  • Ethar Ba'amer
    Poster Designer
  • Mariam Khayat
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    psychodrama, personal
  • Runtime:
    1 minute 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Saudi Arabia
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Southern California
  • Mentor Arabia Youth Awareness Film Competition
    October 24, 2022
    Audience Choice Award
  • 60 Second Intl. Film Festival
    August 14, 2020
  • 60 Second Short Film Fest
    Richmond, Virginia
    United States
    February 29, 2020
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Saudi Film Festival
    Saudi Arabia
    September 2, 2020
  • Cardiff Mini Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 25, 2020
  • LIFF - Lebanese Independent Film Festival
    June 5, 2020
  • SPLICE Film Fest
    New York
    United States
    June 18, 2020
  • Moinho Cine Fest
    April 1, 2020
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival
    March 5, 2020
  • Onirica Film Festival
    September 26, 2020
  • 10th Showreel: Effat International Student Film Festival
    Saudi Arabia
    March 19, 2023
Director Biography - Mariam Khayat

Mariam Khayat is an animator, animation producer, and film editor. In her work, narrative and experimental, she often explores concepts related to dreams and the human psyche. Her last animated short “Labyrinth of the Heart” (2017) has screened at multiple festivals around the world. Mariam has edited the Saudi feature film “The Great Muse” (2018), a few short films and TV shows. Mariam has worked as a producer in both short and feature films. Her most recent producing project is “Mukhaikh,” a short animation film that won a grant to pitch at the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation Germany/Arab World in Germany. The film is currently in pre-production. 
Mariam was an animation instructor at Dar Alhekma University in Jeddah prior to moving to LA in 2018 to pursue an MFA degree in Animation and Digital Arts from the University of Southern California.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Best Friends Forever is about a Person struggling with Anxiety, who then learns to cope with it. I was an anxious child, and my anxiety has grown with me. Sometimes it even overgrows me. I’ve always wanted to make a film about my anxiety. During my episodes, I have been taking notes on what it feels like and how it would look like personified. I thought of it as a monster that lived underneath my skin, and dreaded that it would always follow me throughout my life.

My anxiety was triggered once more right before I began working on this film; it had accompanied me throughout writing and animating this film. Although on medication, the only things that helped were long showers and the beach. The anxiety and panic attacks only subsided when I saw myself reflected on the screen, and saw the anxiety leaving my character.

Making this film is important, because through animating, I heal. Moreover, talking about mental illness remains taboo in Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern societies. The goal of this film is twofold; I aim to shed light on an underrepresented topic in hopes to start a healthier dialogue around mental illness that will encourage those who suffer to reach out and ask for help. Just as importantly, this film gives a glimpse of the weight that people with illnesses such as anxiety have to carry. I believe that with this awareness, people who struggle will receive the respect and support necessary to feel safe in an increasingly provoking world.