Culture partner

Principal Partners

Training & Development

Youth Mentors

Youth Mentors

  • Afef Ben Mahmoud

    Youth Acting Workshop

    Tunisian director and actress Afef Ben Mahmoud began an artistic career at the age of 12...
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    ...Tunisian director and actress Afef Ben Mahmoud began an artistic career at the age of 12, when she joined theatre clubs; the same year, she won her first Best Comedian Award.

    At 14 she joined the Sihem Belkhodja Contemporary Dance Company, where she was trained by well-known choreographers, including Stephanie Nataf and Selma and Sofiane Ouissi. She toured Tunisia and Europe with numerous shows, then, at 17, under Belkhodja’s supervision, Ben Mahmoud ran the Tunisian National Ballet for Kids, where she gave dance courses, and created and directed performances.

    For several years, she danced in musical shows by Tunisian theatre director Fadhel Jaziri, co-founder of the renowned Nouveau Théâtre de Tunis. At 20, she co-directed for Jaziri the dance ensemble in his major show ‘El Hadra’, and was selected to be part of ‘The Actor Studio’, run by renowned theatre director Fadhel Jaibi. She had her first international role in ‘Les Bacchantes’, with which she toured for three years with the French company La tour de Babel. In Tunisia, she had lead roles in Zahira Ben Ammar’s 'Trectic’ and ‘Al Moutachaâbitoune’ by Mohamed Idriss, then also the director of The Tunisian National Theatre.

    Ben Mahmoud then dedicated herself to her acting and filmmaking career. Her television series credits include ‘Ya Zahratan Fi Khayali’, ‘Sayd El Rim’, ‘Maktoub…’ and numerous video clips, including ‘Madinat Al Hob’ with Kadhim Al-Sahir. She had her first big-screen role in Jilani Saâdi’s ‘Khorma’, participated in several Italian productions, and played the lead in Ibrahim Letaief’s ‘Flous Academy’ and Nouri Bouzid’s ‘Making Off’, which won awards at several international film festivals. She has directed three short narrative films and a documentary, and is currently developing her first feature-length film, ‘Backstage’.

    Ben Mahmoud holds a B.Sc in Economics and Management, a BFA in Film Directing and Screenwriting and an MA in Art and Design.

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  • Allegra Hamilton

    Camera Kids: Make Your Own Short Film

    A graduate of Harvard University, Allegra Hamilton-Brooksbank spent a number of years in Los Angeles...
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    ...A graduate of Harvard University, Allegra Hamilton-Brooksbank spent a number of years in Los Angeles as a script doctor and writer, working with many industry luminaries including Samuel Jackson and John Travolta, while working alongside Christopher Keane, the author of numerous best-selling how-to books on screenwriting. Most recently, Hamilton-Brooksbank wrote and directed ‘Longing’ for Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s Arab Film Studio Short Film Competition, for which she garnered a coveted award. Hamilton-Brooksbank’s knowledge, drive and passion are some of Handheld's greatest assets.

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  • Ana Chubinidze

    Storytelling Workshop

    Ana Chubinidze is Georgian author, illustrator and animation filmmaker. She graduated from Tbilisi state Art Academy with BA in architecture and MA in Printmaking...
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    ...Ana Chubinidze is Georgian author, illustrator and animation filmmaker. She graduated from Tbilisi state Art Academy with BA in architecture and MA in Printmaking. She has worked in several Georgian publishing houses as an illustrator and pop-up book designer. Ana has done various workshops for children and adults about pop-up book techniques in different countries. She was a member of the Book Art Center Tbilisi and worked as an organiser and curator of Tbilisi Book Days Festival.

    In 2016, she directed her first animation short film ‘The Pocket Man’, with the co-production of Folimage, Nadasdy and Kvali XXI. ‘The Pocket Man’ was selected on 130 different international animation film festivals and received 18 awards. In 2017, Ana with her colleague Elene Chichashvili opened the Pocket Studio in Georgia, Tbilisi. The studio organises public events for children and adults connected to the animation and illustration field and creates artistic projects.

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  • Fadi Syriani

    Youth Animation Workshop

    Born in Beirut, Fadi Syriani is an animation and comic artist, and a holder of a Master’s degree in...
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    ...Born in Beirut, Fadi Syriani is an animation and comic artist, and a holder of a Master’s degree in Architecture. His work has been screened in several film festivals in Lebanon, Europe and Canada. He is currently working on a short animated film and has been recently awarded an AFAC grant for cinema, and was nominated for the Robert Bosch Stiftung Film Prize for International Cooperation in 2015.

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  • Guy Brooksbank

    Camera Kids: Make Your Own Short Film

    An award-winning educator in media production, Guy Brooksbank's career began decades ago...
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    ...An award-winning educator in media production, Guy Brooksbank's career began decades ago in public television in the USA. More recently, he taught media production and filmmaking at Dubai Men’s College, where he was awarded the Nikai Award, which is presented to one faculty member each semester (from more than 17 campuses across the UAE) who consistently demonstrates great aptitude, creativity, innovation and dedication to their students. Brooksbank’s students went on to win numerous national and international awards and now form the heart of the media industry in Dubai.

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  • Ida Gron

    Make your own Short Documentary Film

    Ida Gron is a Danish documentary director. She attended The National Film and Television School in England (2009) and holds a BA in art history from The University of Copenhagen (2006)...
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    ...Ida Gron is a Danish documentary director. She attended The National Film and Television School in England (2009) and holds a BA in art history from The University of Copenhagen (2006). Ida has worked with documentary films since 2003, where she had her first short films selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus and shown on Danish national TV. She was a part of the artist-driven independent TV station TVTV, in the editorial group Chamber of Public Secrets (2004-2006) in Copenhagen. Since then her documentaries 'Klara - Thoughts from the Taiga' (2004), 'The Kid and the Clown' (2011) and 'Stay Behind - My Grandfather’s Secret War' (2017) have been broadcasted on various national and international TV channels as well as acclaimed international film festivals. As co-founder of the artist-curator group Tagging Art, Ida has exhibited a VR/real-life video installation on the National Gallery of Denmark. Besides directing her own documentaries Ida works as a freelance TV-content producer and VJ, currently on a series for the Danish national youth channel DR3. She also regularly gives hands-on workshops in poetic documentary to school students.

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  • Mahmoud Al-Hourani

    Youth Workshop: Shadow Puppetry

    Mahmoud Al-Hourani is a British-Palestinian actor and playwright, and a graduate of the Royal...
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    ...Central London School of Speech and Drama. He is the director and founder of the Arab Puppet Theatre with a mission to revive and develop the use of puppet theatre in the Arab world. Since establishing the Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation in 2008, he has been directing theatre performances while also conducting residencies and workshops.

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  • Mohammed Al-Suwaidi

    Youth Animation Workshop: Cut-Out Animation

    Mohammed Al-Suwaidi is a Qatari artist, animator, character developer and graphic designer who is known on social media as @WisdomSeven...
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    ...Mohammed Al-Suwaidi is a Qatari artist, animator, character developer and graphic designer who is known on social media as @WisdomSeven. He has worked on several projects, such as Wathiq, an online platform for storytelling and heritage preservation produced with Qatar Museums; the short animated film ‘Rain’ with the Doha Film Institute; and the television series ‘Mandoos’, for which he served as the character developer. Currently, Al-Suwaidi is working on a short animated film.

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  • Sally Connie

    Youth Workshop: Shadow Puppetry

    Sally Connie Todd is a visual artist, puppet designer and theatre-maker...
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    ...Sally Connie Todd is a visual artist, puppet designer and theatre-maker. As co-artistic director of Indefinite Articles, she has devised/performed in all of their productions, including the award-winning show 'Dust’with her sand drawing and 'The Magic Lamp', conjured up with her oil projections and paper puppets. The theatre company's highly successful production 'Claytime' animated with clay figures, grew from her artist's residency with three to five-year-old nursery children. Sally trained as a sculptor at Chelsea School of Art, London, and works with installation and film. She is a member of Neuf film collective, a founding member of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination and an experienced creative facilitator working with all ages to support and enable creative learning; including in nurseries, schools, University of Cambridge, as well as Fitzwilliam Museum and the British Museum.

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