Friday, 18 January
4:30 pm Moving Image and New Technologies
This panel explores the possibilities of virtual, augmented and mixed reality while examining the ethical and cultural implications of these technologies more generally. How do such approaches to moving image expand or heighten experience of our surroundings? Can VR truly generate empathy in ways that traditional forms of film and art cannot? And what are the driving impulses that have led practitioners to utilise such technologies in their practice?
5:45 pm In Conversation with Abdulla Al Kaabi
Director Abdulla Al Kaabi discusses his path to becoming a filmmaker and his critically acclaimed film Only Men Go to the Grave (2016) as well as projects in development and his vision for the emergent film industry in the UAE.
Saturday, 19 January
11:00 am Documentary Expanded
This panel examines the possibilities for expanding documentary filmmaking as a practice and genre. How do documentary works enhance perception of reality or explore ways of representing challenging content? This moderated discussion will consider such questions and delve into the relationship between still and moving images and the construction of narrative.
12:15 pm States of Emergence
This moderated discussion explores notions of ‘emergence’ within and beyond conventional frameworks of postcolonialism, nation-building, modernity and economic development. How can filmmakers embrace a responsibility toward critically engaging with the world and its histories? Two filmmakers and an artist consider the possibilities of reflecting on current conditions in places such as the Philippines, Palestine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo through a discussion of recent work.
3:00 pm Ethnographic Entanglements
This panel considers filmmaking practices that interrogate conventions of the ethnographic while examining their potential to convey embodied forms of knowledge and experience through storytelling. How can working closely with people to communicate their stories reveal how their context is entangled with that of the filmmaker? How do practitioners negotiate the power imbalances and politics of representation that are inherent to filmmaking? Three artists working in moving image address such questions through a discussion of their work.
Sunday, 20 January
10:30 am Funding for MENA Artists and Filmmakers
In this panel discussion, representatives from three major funds discuss the state of funding for film and moving image work in the Arab world. What does the funding landscape look like for cultural producers working in the region and beyond? Who are the key players in the field? What can be done to strengthen support for culture in the region?
11:30 am The Evolving Landscape of Distribution
This session addresses the challenges and opportunities for film distribution within the Middle East and beyond. Given changes in distribution practices, most notably the rise of on-demand digital platforms like iTunes and Netflix, what strategies are producers and distributors adopting to get their films in front of audiences? What makes for a successful model of distribution and how are traditional models being rethought in the digital age? How can films made in or about the region find success in both regional markets and overseas?
12:45 pm The Legal Aspects of Filmmaking
This session looks at the legal aspects of filmmaking, from drawing up agreements and protecting intellectual property through a chain of title to obtaining clearances for copyright material and permits for shooting on location. Experts working in different parts of the industry come together to discuss the work that goes into filmmaking before the shooting can even begin and highlight available resources to assist in this process.
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