Suad Bushnaq is a multi-award-winning music composer with over 40 film credits. She was selected for the Cannes Festival’s Spot the Composer Program in 2021 and the SESAC film scoring residency in LA. Her awards include a Hollywood Music in Media Award for her Orchestral piece Tomorrow, and a Best Original Score at the Fine Arts Film Festival in LA for JASMINE ROAD, amongst others. Her film, HANGING GARDENS, premiered at the 79th edition of the Biennale di Venezia. She is a Screen Composer's Guild of Canada board member and a member of the Alliance for Women Film Composers.

In the last few months, Suad made the score for her first Egyptian film, Hani Khalifa’s FLIGHT 404, Saudi thriller FROM THE ASHES, Emirati film MOUNTAIN BOY, and Netflix’s Saudi original series CRASHING EID. She is currently working on various projects, including the Saudi film Basma, starring, written by Fatima Al-Banawi.

What's the best advice you have ever been given- or given to others?
Never make fear-based or guilt-based decisions. They always end up being bad decisions which you'll regret. Trust your gut feeling instead.

What has been your biggest setback/hurdle?
My imagination! Although it is my biggest gift when it comes to composing music, it's my biggest hurdle/curse in life as it results in major anxiety in my life.

What is the biggest misunderstanding about the Arab World and/or its entertainment industry?
That we are a monolithic society, that Arab men are somehow less refined than Western men, that Arab women are oppressed and don't have a voice, and that we want to be like the West.

What will have the greatest game-changing effect on Arab cinema?
We have countless amazing stories in our collective Arab culture and I think if we stop looking outward and comparing ourselves to the West, and start looking inward and try to come up with our own cinematic language regarding all elements in our filmmaking (screenwriting, editing, scoring, directing, etc.), that would have the greatest game-changing effect on Arab cinema because we will be in a league of our own, making our own rules within this cinematic language that has a unique Arab peculiarity, and then the rest of the world will look at our cinema and try to imitate it.

How do you recognize real talent?
I personally recognize it when I notice the artist's genuine artistic voice shining through the art they created, and it captivates me. Real talent lasts long after its creator is gone. It survives the test of time through art which we enjoy decades after it's been created. Art that is not based on real talent cannot survive the test of time, because marketing can only serve you for so long.