10 Apr 2012
Basra filmmaking course
The college is currently holding a documentary filmmaking course in
Basra for the first time. This is in response to many requests from
audiences there, who came to see films made by our students screened at
our April/May 2011 travelling festival.
The course began at the beginning of April, with students from Amara and Samawa as well as Basra.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/basrafilm/
17 Feb 2012
Human rights film festival in Iraq
The college in association with the Iraqi Association for the Support of
Culture and with support from People In Need, UNDP, UNESCO and UNHCR
mounted a human rights film festival in Iraq for the first time: BAGHDAD
It will ran between February 25th and 28th.
Screening films addressing human rights issues in 3 main areas:
- Violence and discrimination against women
- Children's rights
- Freedom of thought and expression
at Baghdad University, Jadriya. The screenings were followed by discussions and panels.For more information: www.baghdadeye.org
21 Mar 2011
We hope to begin our next filmmaking course in the autumn/winter of 2011.
21 Mar 2011
A Travelling Festival of IFTVC Students' Films in Iraq
As we said previously, we were hoping to mount a travelling festival of our students' films in the autumn/winter of 2010 in Iraq. In the event, it took longer than we anticipated to raise the funding, but now we are able to go ahead. With generous support from the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the Goethe Institute Iraq, HIVOS and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, we will be holding our film festival in April/May 2011.
For further information, please visit our special festival website www.dffiq.com
Many non-governmental organisations in Iraq have also enthusiastically offered all kinds of logistical support, for which we are very grateful. Screenings will take place in Baghdad (April 2&3), Basra (April 29&30) and Erbil (May 6&7) and will include16 films made by our students, along with the VPRO film made by Shuchen Tan about the school. Open discussion sessions which will provide an important opportunity for an exchange of ideas, opinions and experiences between our student filmmakers and audiences. We also hope that the festival will encourage other young Iraqis to become involved in filmmaking.download the festival poster
21 Mar 2011
Student Films Win Awards at Imperial War Museum Festival
6 of our students' films were submitted to the annual film festival at
the Imperial War Museum in London and we were delighted when Ahmed
Jabbar's film, DR NABIL, won the Audience Award and Emad Ali's A CANDLE
FOR THE SHABANDAR CAFE won first prize. It was impossible to get visas
in time for the 2 directors to come to London to receive their prizes
and so they were accepted on their behalf by Maysoon, one of the
founders of the school.
One of the current exhibitions at the museum is a car damaged in the explosion, which demolished the street of booksellers and literary cafe in Baghdad in 2007 (Al Mutanabbi Street) and in conjunction with this, the museum showed more of our students' films as part of their ongoing film programme. Maysoon was there to answer questions after the screening and there was a very good discussion with the audience. The Mutanabbi Street car will move to the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester and many of our students' films will be screened there over the next few months as well
21 Mar 2011
Films made in collaboration with Goethe Institute - Iraq
Following on the success of the collaboration between the 2 founders of
the school with the Goethe Institute in Khartoum on their one-off
documentary film course in winter/spring of 2010, the Goethe Institute
in Erbil approached the school to see if something similar could be done
in Iraq. This time the aim was for participants to make a series of
short documentary films on the theme of human rights in Iraq, as part of
the German Institute of Human Rights 'Human Rights Matter' project.
In co-operation with the Goethe Institute, Erbil, we helped in the making of 4 films: CHARCOAL AND ASHES about the environment, SING YOUR SONG about freedom of expression in art, THE WIDOW about the plight of the thousands of widows in Iraq and SPEAK YOUR MIND about the price that journalists in Iraq have paid in their struggle to honestly report what they see. These last 2 films were made by former students of ours, Hassanain al Hani and Emad Ali, both graduates of the 2007 documentary film course.
21 Mar 2011
Dutch TV Documentary About the School
BAGHDAD FILM SCHOOL, the documentary film which Dutch director, Shuchen
Tan, made about the school, was completed in early summer, 2010 and
broadcast on VPRO in the Netherlands and subsequently has been shown at
the Dubai International Film Festival and at a Human Rights film
festival in Prague. The film is a sympathetic, thoughtful portrayal of
the school and of the personal lives and aspirations of its students.
They were asked by Shuchen to make video diaries, and these were
included in the final film.
14 Apr 2010
An IFTVC Film Festival in Iraq
Over the past 6 years of working in Baghdad, we have preferred to maintain a low profile; given the security situation we found this was the best way of continuing to be able to work. Our students' films have been seen at many festivals and special screenings all around the world, but not in Iraq. We are hoping, however, that, finally, the situation in Iraq is calming down enough for us to mount a festival of our students' films inside the country. We are, therefore, hoping to hold a nine-day travelling festival in Iraq in the autumn/winter of 2010.
There will be screenings on three days in each of three Iraqi cities - Baghdad, Erbil and Basra. We are hoping that our students will be there to hold discussions with audiences. We
are also hoping to be able to screen the VPRO documentary about our
most recent course. At the moment we are fundraising for this festival.
14 Apr 2010
Work in Sudan
Kasim Abid, one of the founders of the school, showed his film, LIFE AFTER THE FALL
, in a film festival in Khartoum
and, at the same time also screened IFTVC student films and talked about the school and the thinking behind the project.
He was approached by the director of the German cultural organisation in Khartoum
, the Goethe Institute, and asked if we would consider running a one-off documentary course for them, on the same lines as the courses we run in Baghdad
The institute acquired the equipment and found the students and the course began in late January 2010.
In the end, there should be 5 or 6 films produced by the students on that course.
14 Apr 2010
Recent IFTVC Course
We completed our new documentary film course in December 2009.
Our students produced two new films: NA'EEM THE BARBER and A PHOTOGRAPHER'S MEMORIES.
NA'EEM THE BARBER has just won third prize in Student Documentary section of the 2010 Gulf Film Festival in Dubai.
This latest course of ours is the subject of a soon to be completed documentary film made by Shuchen Tan for the Dutch television channel, VPRO. The film sensitively portrays the situation in which the school is having to operate, the aims, frustrations and victories of the trainers and the personal lives, aspirations and work of the students.
14 May 2009
Hiba Basssem's film from our first documentary course Baghdad Days will be shown at the Robert Flaherty Seminar in New York in June 2009.
14 Mar 2009
IFTVC has re-opened in Baghdad and a new documentary course is under way
By the early part of 2007, the security situation in Baghdad had deteriorated to such an extent, that we were forced to temporarily shut down the school, and complete our films in Damascus.
Bit by bit, though, it looked like things were beginning to calm down and we returned to Baghdad at the beginning of 2009. We had to mend all our camera equipment and computers, replace shattered windows and clean out our teaching rooms, which had been occupied by pigeons for a year. We gathered a new group of students together and started our next documentary course in March. The students began their technical training and are researching and formulating their ideas for a new group of documentary films, which we are hoping they will be able to complete in the autumn.
11 Jan 2009
Our students' films continued to be shown throughout 2008: at the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco, the Casa Arabe in Madrid, as part of the 'Red Zone, Green Zone' exhibition at Gemak museum in the Hague, and at the British Museum in London as part of its 'Babylon Late' event, in February 2009.
In December 2008, our students' films participated in the Dubai International Film Festival Market and we took part in a panel about film education at the festival.
Some of our former students have gone on to try to make films. Recently, Mounaf Shaker from our first documentary course in 2005, won a prize at the Gulf Film Festival 2009, for his documentary film, Red Zone Citizens.
01 Dec 2008
Screenings of student films
All of our students' films were shown at the House of World Cultures in Berlin as part of the DI/VISIONS Culture and Politics of the Middle East events in January.
In March and April, Kasim and Maysoon travelled to the US to show our students' films and to promote the work of the college in California, New York and Washington DC.
We were invited to the US by Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California as part of their Iraq Re-frame programme. We showed several students' films and took part in a panel discussion co-sponsored by Stanford University.
In New York, we held 4 screening and discussion sessions at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, the Open Society Institute, Columbia University and the Pomegranate Gallery. We spoke to the film department at NYU and have established a relationship of support and mentoring with them, They are providing us with course books, the loan of a video training camera and are hoping to provide one of our students with the opportunity to study an intensive course at the university in the summer.
In February, Hiba Bassem's film Baghdad Days was shown as part of the Tangiers to Tehran: Women Filmmakers in the Middle East Festival in London. The festival was sponsored by the French Institute. In April it was also shown in Morocco as part of the Week of Documentary organised by the French Institute of Fez.
In April, 6 of our students' films were shown in competition in Dubai as part of the Gulf Film Festival. The festival invited the directors of the films to attend. IFTVC students won prizes at the festival: in the students' competition, Bahram Al Zuhairi has won the first prize with his film Leaving and Emad Ali has been awarded third prize.
Ahmed Jabbar's film, Dr Nabil, was shown at the London International Documentary Festival in April.
Emad Ali's film, A Candle for the Shabandar Cafe, will be shown at the Houston Palestinian Film Festival in May.
Also in May, student films will be shown at a special screening and discussion in Vienna.
In July the IPRA Short Film Festival in Leuven, Belgium, will show Hassanain al Hani's film, A Stranger In His Own Country.
Two films by our students, A Candle for the Shabandar Cafe and A Stranger In His Own Country, are shown in July as part of the Arab Film Festival at BAFTA in London and at FACT in Liverpool.
We are happy that after all our students, and our own hard work, our films are reaching a wider international audience. We are also very grateful to those who have supported us throughout the first 4 years of our project and to those new friends who are now offering their support.
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