Emerging Cinema of Change hosted by Northwestern University In Qatar
NB: This panel will be conducted in Arabic with simultaneous English translation With the events of the past two years in the Arab world in mind, this panel examines the role of films and filmmakers during times of social change. As both witnesses and participants, Arab filmmakers have recorded, interpreted and inspired change. While there is an established tradition in Arab cinema of addressing social change, a new movement with a focus on youth and gender issues has recently emerged. What are the characteristics of this nascent movement? What role do these filmmakers play? What are their experiences? What types of social change are they advocating? To address these questions, this panel brings together a group of regionally known Arab filmmakers and artists from different generations and backgrounds. Their films represent at once the continuity of socially conscious films, and an evolving cinematic language and form.
Associate Professor in Residence, Northwestern University - Qatar
Filmmaker, Zero Production
Hanan Abdallah was born into a family of exiled Egyptian activists in London in 1968. She graduated from Oxford with a degree in politics and philosophy in 2010 and subsequently took filmmaking courses and frequented journalists’ centre the Frontline Club before moving to Cairo to document the revolution in 2011.
Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. The success of her three short films, as well as the international acclaim won by her award-winning 2005 documentary ‘Women Without Shadows’, influenced a whole new wave of Saudi filmmakers and made the issue of opening cinemas in the Kingdom a front-page discussion. Within the Kingdom, her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on topics generally considered too taboo, including tolerance, the dangers of orthodoxy, and the need for Saudis to take a critical look at their traditional and restrictive culture.
Executive Director, Torath Media Production
Shannon Farhoud is an aspiring photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, and a recent graduate from Northwestern University in Qatar. She is the co-producer and co-director of ‘Lyrics Revolt’. She and her partners have just opened Torath Media Production, a production house based in Qatar.
Performer/ Hip Hop Artist
Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American hip-hop artist, educator, designer, poet and peace activist born in Saudi Arabia. He is known for promoting his groundbreaking music and has helped raise thousands of dollars for various humanitarian relief organizations. He has lectured at a number of prestigious academic institutions, and most recently was involved in making several critically acclaimed songs about popular uprisings throughout the MENA region.
Director, Propaganda Production
Born in Tunis, Nadia Raïs is an artist and animator who trained as a graphic designer. Her first short, ‘L’Ambouba’, won the prize for Best African Short at the Festival de Meknès (Morocco) in 2011; screened at several other festivals, including Montreal and Cork; and was broadcast on TV5 Monde.
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