Private Project


An Indian and a Pakistani try to resolve their differences as they guard an empty construction site in the Dubai desert.

  • Neel Kumar
  • Neel Kumar
  • Neel Kumar
  • Umran Shaikh
  • Ilyas Khan
    Key Cast
  • Muhammad Khan
    Key Cast
  • Manish Kumar
    Executive Producers
  • Ammar Al Khrisat
    Executive Producers
  • Rana Roy
    Executive Producers
  • Umran Shaikh
    Director of Photography
  • Jaxx Sheldon Monteath
    Location Sound
  • Umran Shaikh
  • Neel Kumar
    Original Music
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 21, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Arab Emirates
  • Country of Filming:
    United Arab Emirates
  • Language:
    Hindi, Urdu
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa ProRes 4444
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Neel Kumar

Neel Kumar was born in Calcutta, India. He has lived in Dubai, Canada and Sri Lanka, but has refused to grow up anywhere. A former copywriter, he started his advertising career at Young and Rubicam and later moved to Saatchi & Saatchi, where his work won a fair few international awards.

While at Saatchi, he wrote, shot and directed a short film about the company that was sent to Saatchi's network offices around the world. After receiving a personal thank-you from Kevin Roberts - Saatchi's global CEO - he did what anyone in his shoes would have done.

He quit.

Leaving Saatchi in 2011, he and his DOP/Partner Umran Shaikh set up akela - a film production company based in Dubai. Security is their first short film.

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Director Statement

Two security guards worked the night shift at the compound where I lived. They stayed in a small wooden cabin with not much in it. I’d pass them every night when I returned home, and we struck up a friendship of sorts. I gave them a kettle and some basic supplies like tea, coffee and sugar. And in return, they gave me their stories.

They worked at different companies, but wore the same uniform. One received a pair of shoes from his company. The other had to buy his own. One had remarried in his homeland, without divorcing his first wife. He was planning to use his annual leave to serve his one-month jail sentence when he returned. They had a supervisor that would sneak up on them in the middle of the night and try to take pictures of them sleeping on the job, hoping to have them fired.

Apparently you don’t need an office to have office politics.

The idea for Security came to me after speaking to them for months. I loved the idea of two people guarding an empty construction site where nothing was happening. Why were they there? What was the point? What were the procedures they would have to follow?

The funny thing about Dubai is that it’s probably one of the few places in the world where Indians and Pakistanis start working together as colleagues, and end up becoming friends. For people from either country who have left home for the first time, “the enemy” is foreign, strange and dangerous. And yet, inevitably, after they’ve actually met people from the other country, they realise that we’re all really the same.

For me, Security touches on many simple truths. Race can instantly be the deciding factor in choosing how to approach a relationship, and yet it can dissolve away just as fast. Procedure is handed down from the experienced to the inexperienced. But if it’s simply procedure for procedure’s sake, then what does experience really count for after all? What happens to the world when farmers are paid more to sit and guard sites that probably don’t need to be guarded as much as people need to be fed?

After watching Security, you may feel like it raises more questions than it answers.

I certainly do.