dossier / Portrait of four young Syrian film directors in a quest for public
babelmed - 20/05/2009
Contrary to what happened in Lebanon during the 90’s, where several drama art universities inaugurated an audiovisual department, Syria still lacks structures to educate the young in the audiovisual trade. The Amman Institute in Jordan allows 1 to 2 Syrians per year to be trained…that’s not enough. Yet in Syria there is a real request of the young for audio-visual training.
Moreover it is quite frustrating as a film director not to be able to address yourself to an informed public. The Syrian public still isn’t familiar with auteur documentaries… let’s hope it will improve in time.
Does “the” Syrian documentary exist?
There are very few Syrian auteur documentary directors. You can count them on the fingers of one or two hands, and they belong to different generations…We cannot speak of a movement. The Syrian auteur documentary is still moving its first steps…
The Syria I want to show:
Omar Amiralay tried through his documentaries to illustrate a political reality, which explains the censure of most of his films in Syria. Personally, I consider reality especially under a socio-political angle: I try to portray contemporary Syria, as I feel it, as I see it. My film doesn’t represent a political joust. It merely wants to portray reality. That’s why I don’t worry much about censorship. Yet my first film Un cinema muet (A mute Cinema) was censored even before its making…Two of my films caused me to be questioned by the secret service. I work under a lot of pressure, I have to face many obstacles, however, I don’t think making auteur cinema in Syria is impossible. In fact this year, my documentary titled Six Ordinary Stories was screened at the DOX BOX Festival…The secret service probably considered that screening a film for 400 intellectuals couldn’t lead to a revolution… I’m not dangerous enough to have the honour to be censored…
2007 Six Ordinary Stories , documentary, 62 min, Dvcam. Mille et Une Productions.
2005 Le Club de l’avenir , documentary 14 min, Dvcam. Mille et Une Productions.
2003 L’attente du jour , documentary 52mn. BIZIBI Productions
2001 Un cinéma muet, documentary 30 min, Dvcam. Femis Productions