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Let’s keep those independent film cameras rolling

This article is from The National – December 22, 2008

“For individuals and groups long alienated by mainstream political and commercial traditions in the Arab world, the communications revolution has been a liberating force par excellence.

In the past few years we have waxed lyrical about the rise of web-based citizen journalism as a new form of political and social empowerment in a region dominated by state media. In October I had the chance to attend some screenings at the Abu Dhabi-based Middle East Film Festival (MEFF) and last week I enjoyed the same exciting experience at the fifth Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

At both events I witnessed yet another sense of empowerment furnished by the communications revolution; this time it is coming from a new young breed of independent film makers who seem determined to redefine the whole face of cinema in the region for decades to come.

Like citizen journalists, Arab independent filmmakers are the new voices of the emerging public sphere, inspired by what looks like a global independent film movement that combines creative talent and low-cost digital tools to bring more symmetry to the state and commercially-dominated film landscape.” Read rest of article here.

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