HOPE FILMS: Filmmaking Comes to Dead Sea Village
- FILMMAKING COMES TO DEAD SEA VILLAGE
Feb 15, 2009
The following four short films (follow links to YouTube) were produced by students from the Dead Sea communities of Ghour who participated in the Hope Films workshop during the January 2009 filmmaking bootcamp.
The Hope Films initiative in Ghour Mazra'a aims to empower local storytellers in this disadvantaged community with basic audiovisual production skills using inexpensive digital filmmaking tools. The short films are produced by collaborative groups of workshop students with some technical support from the Cooperative.
Hope Films aspire to promote the culture of independent film and filmmaking in remote Jordanian communities and to provide a starting point for those who seek to develop their audiovisual production skills for income generating purposes.
"From what we have seen, we hope workshop graduates will form the seed of an indie filmmaking movement in the Ghour villages," commented Hazim Bitar, founder and coordinator of the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative. "Our work starts after the workshop, it does not end with it."
"At Zikra, we are interested in a well-rounded development model that encompasses economic as well as cultural development," said Rabee Zureikat, the director of the Zikra Initiative, a local human development project and one of the sponsors of the workshop. Zureikat himself is a Cooperative filmmaker who co-directed the short documentary Not My Turn Yet.
The workshop was held at the Knowledge Center of Ghour Haditha Park, a newly established computer training facility and internet cafe run by the Royal Scientific Society.
Hope Films is funded by the Spanish Agency for Cultural Cooperation and supported by various local partner such as the Zikra Initiative.
Recently, the village where most of the workshop participants came from made Jordanian news headlines after a 12-year-old student lost an eye when a teacher was administering corporal punishment with an iron rod.
Considered the lowest dry point on earth, the altitude of the Dead Sea shoreline is approximately 1,300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. On the Jordanian side, some of the most impoverished and marginalized communities live in scattered villages along the south-eastern shorelines of the Dead Sea.
1) BETTER THAN MONEY
The economy is going south and a global recession is taking hold. When people run out of money to buy what they need, they resort to extreme measures.
2) ROTTEN AUDIENCE
The audience turns hostile. Two stage performers fail to impress a tough crowd, so they decide to take preemptive measures.
3) BASIC VIDEO EDITING
When two workshop students run into problems using the computer video editing tools, they go old fashioned.
4) GOOD SOIL
The farms surrounding the Dead Sea are famous for their fertile soil. But in the soil of the holy lands, the term miracle grow takes on a new meaning.
- Other Hope Films
- Watch the Gazan refugees short documentaries online:
- Ya Halawood: It Takes a Village to Make This Film
- Hope Films Launched
- Zikra Initiaitve
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