Film workshop to encourage local talent

Updated 22 May 2012
0

Film workshop to encourage local talent

Arab film analyst Alaa Karkouti will host a workshop on short filmmaking and provide tips on how to make a successful TROPFEST Arabia short film in Jeddah on May 26.
He will be supported by Saudi Director Mamdouh Salem and award-winning Saudi actress and filmmaker Ahd. The two-hour workshop on short film creation for aspiring filmmakers will be held at SilverGrey Picture & Sound, SDE Building in the Tahlia Dist, Majra Sail in Jeddah on Saturday from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. The workshop will outline how to successfully submit a film for TROPFEST Arabia 2012, the short film festival that supports first time and emerging filmmakers and will focus on the importance of creativity and originality rather than budget.
According to a press release, the aim of TROPFEST Arabia is to contribute to the development of the Arab film industry by providing an opportunity for the region’s filmmakers to bring their short films to the community. The second edition of TROPFEST Arabia will take place in Abu Dhabi in October 2012. Salem is one of the most prominent figures in the world of Saudi TV and cinema and has won numerous awards in Saudi Arabia and abroad for his work in the industry. He heads the Saudi Film Festival and recently took part in Nabeul International Film Festival in Tunisia with his two new films “Mohemat Tifl” (A Child’s Mission) and “Jeddah.”
A native of Saudi Arabia, Ahd is an award-winning actress and filmmaker based in New York. She has worked on multiple projects in different capacities from writing, directing and acting in “Al Gundurji” (The Shoemaker) which went on to participate in numerous international festivals including Clermont-Ferrand and Gulf Film Festival. She was also part of Peter Berg’s team in the Hollywood movie “The Kingdom” and received a Cloeween Connection award from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) as an emerging Middle Eastern filmmaker which was presented by Spike Lee.
The workshop will cover the short filmmaking process and expose participants to submissions from TROPFEST Arabia 2011 as well as the TROPFEST Arabia signature item, which this year is “2” and must be used as a creative part of all TROPFEST Arabia submissions. It will also give participants the opportunity to raise questions and gain further insight into the TROPFEST Arabia festival, and the role that short films are increasingly playing in the region’s rapidly growing media industry.
In order to be eligible to participate in the TROPFEST Arabia workshops and submit a film entry, participants must be a citizen of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region including Algeria, Bahrain , Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.
To register for TROPEST Arabia workshops or to get further details on how to submit a film, visit: www.tropfest.com/arabia


Throwback Thursday: Remembering Hassan Hakmoun’s ‘The Fire Within’

Updated 25 April 2018
0

Throwback Thursday: Remembering Hassan Hakmoun’s ‘The Fire Within’

  • 1995’s “The Fire Within” marked a pointed return to his roots
  • In The Fire Within, Hakmoun strips everything back to the same earthy instrumentation his forefathers used for generations

ROTTERDAM: North Africa’s Gnawa music has long held a powerful sway over international ears. In the 1960s, Jimi Hendrix visited Morocco to take lessons with “The King,” Mahmoud Guinia, while “The Traditionalist” Brahim Belkane played with members of Led Zeppelin. Decades later, thousands of curious listeners continue to descend on Essaouira every year for the Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du Monde, which celebrates a 21st edition in June.

Riding the 1980s’ first wave of interest in so-called “world music” — a term most international musicians find structurally hierarchical — Hassan Hakmoun found fame representing his tribal traditions on a global stage and was soon working alongside Western luminaries, including free jazz pioneer Don Cherry. The Moroccan musician’s story is remarkable: The son of a renowned mystic healer, by the age of four Hakmoun was, legend has it, performing alongside snake charmers and fire-breathers on the streets of Marrakech.

But unlike the patchy rock and reggae fusions of Hakmoun’s breakthrough “Trance” (released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records two years earlier), 1995’s “The Fire Within” marked a pointed return to his roots. Gone are the electric guitars and trippy dub beats — here Hakmoun strips everything back to the same earthy instrumentation his forefathers used for generations: Hand-claps and clacking hand-cymbals (krakeb) drive these primal grooves.

The sole instrumental melody comes from Hakmoun’s sintir, a three-stringed lute which emits deep, throbbing, syncopated riffs in the spine-shaking lower registers. It’s deeply communal, but Hakmoun is master of ceremonies, leading the stirring call-and-response chants based on Sufi poetry.

These group recordings are balanced by the sparser-still solos. Released from the beat, Hakmoun’s playing further assumes the lilting cadences of human speech. For any audience, “The Fire Within” is a magnificent primer to Gnawa’s immutable musical foundations.