28 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

My fabulous Friday: Ayman Jamal

The 40-year-old founder of Barajoun and producer of Bilal, the region’s first animation movie, which was named Best Inspiring Movie at Festival de Cannes recently, talks about his love for all things animated

By Tania Bhattacharya
28 Jun 2016 | 09:49 am
  • Ayman Jamal

    Source:Getty Images

Family first

After working 16 hours a day nearly every day, all my leisure time is spent with my four kids and family. I love watching movies with them, and generally taking them out. That’s my happy zone.

Horror horror


Animation is my first love but I generally enjoy all forms of visual entertainment. Among TV shows, my favourites are Friends and Breaking Bad, while movies that top my list include The Pursuit of Happyness and The Usual Suspects. The one genre I can’t watch though is horror. It truly scares me!

Animation rocks


I have gotten where I am today because of two fantastic animation films – Lion King and Finding Nemo. They inspired me to get into animation, especially because of their stories and the messages they carry.

In love with LA 


My favourite destination in the world will always be Los Angeles, as it’s where I studied. The city’s thriving story-telling and film-making industry has nurtured my tryst with films. I love its creative buzz and all the dreams that are born and fulfilled there.

Keeping it real


Making Bilal is my biggest achievement. It was a distant dream that I’d held on to for seven years. I hope audiences will love the character of Bilal Ibn Rabah, a boy who fought injustice hundreds of years ago. I am curious to know how people will react to an animation film based on the life of a real hero, as opposed to fictional ones.

People on top


I am currently reading Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It’s pretty motivating. But more than anything else, it’s people in general who spur me on. To me, they make the impossible possible.

Fashion forward

I generally love football, and in fact, I was really good at it! But if I wasn’t a film-maker, I would have probably ended up as a fashion designer. My favourite designer is Massimo Dutti. I also love to cook pastas.

By Tania Bhattacharya

By Tania Bhattacharya