<$BlogItemTitle$> <$BlogItemTitle$>Broadcasters of Tomorrow

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Middle East International Film Festival

The Abu Dhabi film festival is over, but we're continuing to publish our interviews with student filmmakers who were selected for competition. It's been great to see student filmmakers from a variety of cultures sharing information about their education and inspiration.
Below are interviews with some of the festival's award winners
The Award for Best Emerging Student Filmmaker went to Serena Abi Aad. (interview below)
The Award for Best Narrative, Student Filmmaker, went to Burhan Qurabni. (interview still to come)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jasmine Kosovic. American Filmmaker Interview

Place of Birth: NEW YORK CITY


Which Family Member Gave You the Most Inspiration: My cousin Daghi, who introduced me to avant garde theatre, and my cousin Velimir, who introduced me to the Beatles!

As a Student, What’s the Most Helpful Class You've Taken?

This may not seem to be connected to filmmaking but for me it is. The class was some sort of survey of modern American politics, but it was the teacher, not the class that made it so important to me. I took the class in college (I went to Barnard College, Columbia University) and in that class I learned how to write properly, even strongly. How to argue my case, be consistent in theme, thesis, etc. This way of thinking came up all the time when I was directing my short; I was always asking myself, “is this way I’m going to place the camera, this way I’m directing the actors/lighting the scene, adding music/etc. “– are these serving my theme?

If I Could Cast One Professional Actor it Would it Be?
Juliette Binoche. I’m writing a script now with her in mind for one of the parts. So she is lodged in my brain at the moment!

My Three Favorite Films: Oh! This is almost impossible! OK, OK… Well, Jim Jarmusch’s STANGER THAN PARADISE made me want to become a director. It was the first time that I saw and understood that film is more than the sum of its parts, that it is a language all its own. Believe it or not, I love Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Federico Fellini’s 8/12 affected me profoundly.

My Three Most Prized Possessions are:
The people in my life are what I prize the most. They’re not possessions, I know, but they are what make my heart whole.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Philipp Yuryev. Russian Filmmaker Interview

Name: Philipp Yuryev
Place of Birth: Russia, Moscow
I Currently Live In: Moscow
Last (or Current) School Attended: I graduated from The Moscow Gymnasium and now I am studing in The State Institute of cinematography (VGIK)

My Film: “ The Morning in Other eyes”

As a Student, What's the Most Helpful Class You've Taken? The classes of masterpieces of filming by our professor, the famous russian director Aleksey Ychitel. He is the director of many brilliant fiction and documentaries films.
Which Family Member Gave You the Most Inspiration? My uncle Michael Yuryev, the businessman. Now he is going to produce a very interesting film project, it is his first experience. And one more member is my mother, a great fan of cinema. She works on Russian TV as an editor.

If I Could Cast One Professional Actor It Would be? It is very difficult question. I like Jenifer Lopes in films of Almodovar, I should like to try Scarlet Johanson (I like her play very much in Woody Allen's films). And?... of course, Nicole Kidman

My Three Favorite Films: "The Mystery Train” and “ Broken Flowers” by Jim Jarmusch “Everything About My Mother” by Almodovar “The Sky Above Berlin” by Vim Venders.

My 3 Most Prized Possessions Are: 1. I think that my most valuable prize was the prize of audience’s sympathies in the festival of my institute, VGIK. 2. The diploma for the most unexpectable decision of the plot in my second film “ The changed landscape”. 3. The invitation to present my film in child oncological hospital.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Serena Abi Aad. Arab Filmmaker Interview

This is our first in a series of interviews from the Arab students presenting at the Middle East International Film Festival. Filmmaking in the region has improved at an amazing rate and these filmmakers are the people to watch. They are the stars of the future!

Name: Serena Abi Aad
Place of Birth: Beirut
I Currently Live In: Dubai
Last (or Current) School Attended: IESAV - (USJ)

My Film: The Lullaby
As a Student, What's the Most Helpful Class You've Taken?
Sound editing and mixing (using protools), and Film directing I and II

If I Could Cast One Professional Actor It Would be?
Julia Roberts

My Three Favorite Films:
Requiem For a Dream, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, L'Auberge Espagnole.

My Three Most Prized Possessions are: My interior design books. i can not live without them. if i get any excess luggage when I'm traveling it's because of those books. The films i've made...because...well there isn't much to explain here :) and my sunglasses. i have a collection of those :)

An interview from Copenhagen, Denmark, where Serena was completing post production on her latest documentary film 'Life Under Construction'.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Interviews From Film Festival in Abu Dhabi

In celebration of the Abu Dhabi based Middle East International Film Festival, and its recognition of student films, we're publishing interviews from great young film makers. We're also publishing articles (below) from the archives where students wrote about Arabic films, and even one critical article from 2006 about the Dubai film festival.
The festival runs until Oct. 19 and features an international competition for Student Films.

Below is a short video clip of two Arabic student filmmakers from the American University of Sharjah, talking about their first films.

VIDEO: Arab Film Students' Movie Clips

Two Arab students discuss their first films. The music and film clips are all directly from their films.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UAE Filmmakers Tackle Sensitive Issues?

This story was originally published two years ago. Of course many advances have been made since then. Nevertheless, it's critical of the Dubai film festival and indicative of how blogs can be used to say things mainstream media, who sponsor such festivals, can't.
IndieWire reported on emerging Emirati filmmakers being celebrated at the Dubai International Film Festival. My favourite line in the story comes from Waleed Al Shehhi, whose film "Ahmad Sulaiman" offers a glimpse into the life of a one-legged, mute Emirati. He said "We have no problem discussing sensitive issues in the UAE, " adding, "our films try to reflect aspects of our society."
Hmm..."aspects of our society"....has anyone seen a film about exploiting construction workers or a story about Dubai's inability to regulate traffic violators which results in one of the highest death tolls in the world? It's great local filmmakers are getting exposure. Hopefully this will inspire more Emiratis to make films about local sensitive issues.
After all, it took an Australian, using hidden cameras, to tell the story of 7 year old camel jockeys who were abused by their local keepers. While the prized camels were taken for daily dips in their custom built swimming pools and received the best medical care that money could buy the filmmakers shot images of the child jockeys, sleeping on floors in ramshackle huts. Their film tackled a "sensitive issue" and camel jockeys are now banned, but I didn't see that footage being celebrated here in the UAE.