• O.G. Wright

‘The Pit’, A Film Shot And Produced In Dubai, Shows Damaging Effect Of Digital Blackmailing

Independent filmmaker Zenofer Fathima launched today her latest short film, The Pit, at the Novo Cinemas in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai. A film by ZEN Productions under the Enigma series, The Pit puts spotlight on the prevalence of online vulnerabilities among unsuspecting adults, specifically offering a closer look at how digital blackmail and extortion can bring about seriously damaging consequences to the victims and their families.

Based on reports from leading cyber security companies, digital extortion has been rising exponentially the past years and the trend is predicted to continue into the foreseeable future.  Industry experts also see that there will be iterations of digital extortion, among them highly personal nature of this kind of attacks.  The emotional and psychological toll on the victims of this online crime should never be underestimated as many acts of cyber coercion and extortion have led to serious outcomes such as suicides. 

With digital connectivity permeating people’s lives, Zenofer has been actively advocating for cyber safety and awareness through her movie projects.  “Films are ideal tools to awaken consciousness and shape our thoughts and attitudes towards the most pressing needs of society today.  Our fixation with social media, maintaining online presence and messaging apps has obviously become a matter of great concern with the growing impact of cybercrime in our personal lives.  Children are not the only ones vulnerable to online predators.  Adults are equally susceptible to digital crime, especially if we remain complacent in engaging in risky online behaviour,” Zenofer said.

The Pit brings the viewers into the life of an accomplished, strong-willed daughter who became an unwilling witness to her father’s brokenness after falling prey to online extortion.  Filled with authenticity and realism, the 10-minute film promises the potential to effect awareness and understanding cyber safety and responsible use of e -technology.

“I conceptualized The Pit in such a way that it would enlarge the viewers’ perspectives and challenge them to have a more serious regard on the risks associated with engaging in improper online conversations.  I hope the audience would welcome to heed the message behind the film, wo we can effectively stimulate greater discourse on the realities of cybercrime in today’s age,” added Zenofer, who welcomed a number of dignitaries and celebrities at the premiere, among them renowned Emirati entrepreneur and philanthropist His Excellency Suhail Mohd. Al Zarooni and singer/composer Sukhbir Singh, popularly known as the "Prince of Bhangra”.

Commenting on her future projects, the CEO and Founder of Zen Productions revealed that she plans to do more movies that similarly serve as an impetus for social awareness and change. 

The Pit is now available for viewing on Zenofer’s official YouTube channel House of Zen.

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