Fall Grants 2016
Two young artists, Saeed Al Batal and Ghiath Ayoub become embroiled in the events of the besieged city of Douma in this insider view of Syria’s civil uprising and its aftermath. Cameras in-hand and with over 500 hours of raw footage distilled down to an intense two hours—events move fast. The rebels liberate the city as the enthusiasm of revolution spreads among its youth, only to be followed by the tragedy of war, siege, and famine. As the initial euphoria gives way to disenchantment, the ever-present camera not only captures the grievous effects of the conflict, but also the everyday resilience and conviction of the city’s inhabitants.
Cinephiles at heart, the two intrepid filmmakers teach the art of cinematography to some of the locals, memorably quoting “The image is the last line of defence against time”. Using the Syrian War as its backdrop, it is a powerful reminder of the vital importance of making films as documentary evidence for history. ‘Still Recording’ is dedicated to all those who held a camera in the face of struggle, and tragically, the list of “those who lost their lives in the making of this film” is very long indeed.
- Ghiath Ayoub, Saeed Al Batal
- Mohammed Ali Atassi
- Production Company
- Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts
About the Director
Born in 1988 in Tartous, Syria, Saeed Al Batal is a citizen journalist, photographer and filmmaker. He has led numerous workshops in photography and news reporting, and has worked as a reporter for various radio stations and wrote articles on Syrian current affairs for agencies and institutions worldwide. He is one of the founders of an online gallery entitled “Sam Lenses” and the “Humans of Syria” project.
Born in 1989 in Yabrod, Syria, Ghiath Ayoub is a filmmaker and visual artist, and a graduate of the faculty of Fine Art at the University of Damascus. He is the co-founder of a number of open spaces across Beirut. Ghiath also participates in various civic initiatives such as "Humans of Syria", graphic design work, and films that have featured on websites and in exhibition spaces globally.
Awards and Festival History
Cinema de la Mediterrània i el Levant Cinebaix 2018
JIHLAVA Int’l Documentary FF 2018
Marrakech IFF 2018
DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary FF 2019
Critics’ Week Prize (Audience Award), Prize for Best Technical Contribution, Edipo Re Award, Vivere da sportivo il fair-play al cinema Award, and FIPRESCI Award (5 awards), Venice IFF 2018, Critics’ Week (WP)