CINEPHILIA SCREENWRITING LAB FOR SHORTS


// ROME, ITALY

Lab dates: November 6-13, 2016

OFFICIAL SELECTION

. Ahmed Dahroug
, The Crow of Separation (Egypt)
. Farah Naboulsi & Dalia Yassine, SpinDrift (Lebanon)
. Francesca Duca, Hotel Locarno (Italy)
. Michele LeonardiUscire Fuori (Italy)

In collaboration with MED FILM FESTIVAL
with the support of the Ministry of Culture & Tourism (MIBACT), The City of Rome & Lazio Film Commission.


RECIPIENTS OF THE BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD:

Farah Naboulsi & Dalia Yassine
for their screenplay Spindrift

"The jury, considering the quality and potential of the scripts in development, decided to award Spindrift for artistic complementarity of the two screenwriters that is expressed in the magic realism of the world that they created, and for the intricacy of the subject matter that gently opened interesting reflections on the relationship between tradition and modernity, man and sea, father and son from an unconventional point of view of an imaginary world of sea creatures - a metaphor and symbol of Beirut, a city always in the making and perhaps lost."
-  Jury note


ABOUT FILMMAKERS AND PROJECTS

. AHMED DAHROUG was born in Cairo. He moved to Vienna to study architecture at the Technological University of Vienna. Ahmed then switched majors to pursue filmmaking and directing at the High Cinema Institute in Cairo. Two of the short-films that he wrote and directed were screened at national and international film festivals. Ahmed is also studying for a diploma in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

The Crow of Separation is about a former soldier, who finds out that life in the city can be crueler than war itself.

. FARAH F. NABOULSI is a Lebanese filmmaker based in Beirut. For seven years now, she has fluttered between film sets, theatre festivals and visual-based installations. Farah has worked in almost every aspect of filmmaking, she started her career in producing and assistant directing for fiction then she joined the camera team for documentary films. Currently, she anchored in the art direction department where she practices set dressing and propping. Farah has a big interest in the underwater world, handmade designs, live music, percussive instruments and visuals in motion. Her aim is to merge her interests in a world of her own through film and art-driven expressionism. 

DALIA YASSINE is a Lebanese-Brazilian filmmaker and visual artist. After having lived in London as a child, Dalia moved to Beirut to complete her French Baccalaureate. Since high school, she has delved into the world of film and performance and decided to receive a B.A in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University in Beirut.  After that, she went on to pursue a Postgraduate Degree in Filmmaking at The London Film Academy and an M.A in Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins College in London. Dalia’s principal language is in a visual and multimedia register, in which her work spans across film, moving image, performance, installation and writing. She works vastly within an interdisciplinary scope and aims to craft and devise cinematic, immersive and artistic experiences within diverse contexts. She has worked on numerous projects for screen and stage mainly as a director, writer and art director. In 2016, she got awarded a visual art's grant from AFAC (The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture), which lead her to develop and showcase a Multimedia Installation Journey entitled 'Dissect The Insects' at 392Rmeil393 Gallery in Beirut, Lebanon. Currently, she focuses on being a filmmaker and creative practitioner for multidisciplinary projects that cross the realms of visual and performance art between Lebanon and London.

SpinDrift
Through thin fishing nets and across turbid tides, neon flares light the mystic sea of dusk. Curious waters offer a lucky few the chance to spindrift into the depths of mythical realism.

. FRANCESCA DUCA was born in Italy in 1981. She studied Literature and Visual Anthropology at Università degli Studi in Perugia and at ULB Université Libre de Bruxelles. After a fieldwork in India, she wrote a thesis about Bollywood. She attended INSAS in Brussels for an MA in cinema writing, production and direction. She worked in Rome, Berlin and Brussels both in television and cinema. She lives and works in Morocco where she co-founded Le Moindre Geste a film production company based in Casablanca and Marrakech that focuses on promoting independent authors. She directed few short films (Finita la commedia, Tawny, Amar) and she is in post-production of her first feature documentary Memories of a Future.

Hotel Locarno
A woman shoots a man from an hotel’s window then she goes back on her bed and brushes her hair. Meanwhile the police surround the building. Will she manage escape?

. MICHELE LEONARDI was born in Catania, Sicily, where he studied Foreign Languages and completed a thesis on Aleksandr Sokurov. In 2015, he made his first short film, “Morte Segreta”, which won several awards in Italy and abroad. Leonardi completed his second short film, “MIA”, in late summer 2015, and went on to co-directed the short film “Il Miracolo”, which premiered at Venice Film Festival and earned a Special Mention Award at the prestigious Nastri d'Argento.

Uscire Fuori (Getting Out)
After serving several years in prison for allegedly murdering their son, a woman moves back in with her supportive husband, a medical doctor, who is ready to welcome her home. After a long time apart, the couple will try to face their first day and night together, in the same old house they used to live in with their baby.


'Best Screenplay Award' JURY MEMBERS

Darine Hotait (Lab founder & mentor) is an American Lebanese writer, film director and the founder of Cinephilia Productions. She wrote and directed a number of short films that went on to received multiple awards at International film festivals. Her most recent short film I SAY DUST (2015) screened at over 60 international film festivals such as HBO's Outfest and received multiple awards for Best Short Fiction. Her films were acquired and distributed by prestigious platforms such as AMC Networks, Sundance Channel, Shorts International, BBC Channel & Journal of Short Films. Her work mainly focuses on bridging literature and cinema while embodying a scientific approach and giving predominance to the science fiction genre.   
Aside from film, Darine is a published playwright and short story writer. Her science fiction literary work appeared in various publications in print and online as well as featured in exhibitions in New York, Berlin and London. She resides in New York City.

Irene Dionisio (director) graduated in Aesthetical and Social Philosophy at the University of Torino, and did a Masters degree in Documentary filmmaking directed by Daniele Segre and Marco Bellocchio, as well as a Masters at IED directed by Alina Marazzi. Through the association Fluxlab, of which she is a founding member, she curates cultural and artistic projects about issues such as integration, cultural policies and gender issues. Her artistic production includes video installations and documentaries, such as La fabbrica è piena. Tragicommedia in otto atti (2011) and Sponde. Nel sicuro sole del nord (2015). Her first feature film, Le ultime cose (2016), premiered at Venice International Critics’ Week.  

Giovanni Pompili (producer) born in 1979. Since 2005 he has worked in the development and production of over 40 documentaries for Italian and UK companies. In 2011, after winning the Ilaria Alpi Prize, he became the lead of the company Kino Produzioni and, along with other 50 film professionals, started a cinema bistrot, Il Kino, to distribute internationally acclaimed movies. In 2013, he joined the Producers Network of the Marché du Film in Cannes and graduated from the Eurodoc programme. In 2014, he was chosen as a producer at Berlinale Talent, which had selected two of his projects, Sole and Favela Futebol Club. He has produced short films such as Cargo(Venice 2012), The Silence (Cannes 2016), and Valparaiso (Locarno 2016).  

Monica Zapelli (screenwriter) Born in 1966 and screenwriting tutor at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Italian National Film School). She wrote the scripts of Italian award-winning and acclaimed films such as The Hundred Steps by Marco Tullio Giordana, L'abbuffata by Mimmo Calopresti, The Demons of St. Petersburg by Giuliano Montaldo, and Land of Saints by Fernando Muraca. 

ABOUT MED FILM FESTIVAL
MedFilm Festival is the first Italian event dedicated to the promotion and the diffusion of the Mediterranean cinema. The festival, now in its 22nd edition, aims to delve into the reality of "Mare Nostrum" with no filter, no fear or preconception, to keep on working on the exchange and the knowing among the countries of the two shores. 
The only Italian event specialized on the diffusion of the Mediterranean and European cinema, MedFilm was founded in 1995 during the Centennial of the Filmmaking and the Declaration of Barcelona. Through audiovisual equipments and in particular through quality movies, the festival promotes the cooperation of close nations, convinced that diversity is a quality. The purposes of MedFilm are – protection of human rights and intercultural dialogue; social and cultural education and growth of young generations; fight against racism and xenophobia; promotion and diffusion of European and Mediterranean culture. 
MedFilm is a thematic festival and is honored of the support of the President of the Italian Republic and of the sponsorship of the delegation of the European Commission and Parliament in Italy. MedFilm has been judged as a festival of national interest by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and is an historical event of the city of Rome. It has been recognized and supported by more than 40 diplomatic delegations based in Italy. 



// ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Lab dates: September 22 - October 2, 2016

OFFICIAL SELECTION:

. Abigail Prade, Hajj (Netherlands)
. Ahmed Al Daradji, Layla (Iraq)
. Deema Dabis, Shake (Jordan)
. Fadi Syriani, The Food Militia (Lebanon)
. Kristijan Krajnčan, The Flood (Netherlands)
. Waref abu Quba, Zenith (Syria)
. Wout Malestein, Liminal Space (Netherlands)
 

IN COLLABORATION WITH ARAB CAMERA FESTIVAL 

 

 

with the support of the City of Rotterdam & Netherlands Film Fonds


Video from the reading session at Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts, Rotterdam 2016, in the presence of jury members, in collaboration with Arab Film Festival.

 

RECIPIENTS OF THE BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD:
. Ahmad El Daradji (Layla)
. Kristijan Krajncan (The Flood)


SELECTED FILMMAKERS: (left to right) waref abu quba, darine hotait (lab mentor), deema dabis, abigail prade, ahmed el daradji, fadi syriani & kristijan krajncan

SELECTED FILMMAKERS: (left to right) waref abu quba, darine hotait (lab mentor), deema dabis, abigail prade, ahmed el daradji, fadi syriani & kristijan krajncan

ABIGAIL PRADE is a Dutch writer and director. After studying art history, she moved to Singapore to pursue her MFA in film directing at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Asia, where she worked in many different capacities on film projects shot throughout Asia. She recently completed her thesis film Future Perfect, which was shot on location in Seoul, South Korea. Her short film Ghost screened at the CinemAsia Film Festival  of 2016 as part of their annual filmmaking lab showcase. Abigail is currently based in the Netherlands and is working on multiple documentary and fiction projects. 

Project: HAJJ
Hajj tells the story of the two friends Salma (16) and Aia (16) who embark on a trip around Europe during their summer holiday. Deeper into their journey tensions between the two reach a peak and it is revealed that there might be a darker side to their travels.

AHMED EL DARADJI was born in Sadr City, Baghdad. In 2010, he was awarded a scholarship to study an MA in Filmmaking at the London Film School, from where he graduated with a distinction in 2013. Children of God – his graduation film – was an official selection at Clermont-Ferrand and Palm Springs, among other international festivals, and won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Arab Short at Dubai Film Festival and Best Live Action Short at Seoul Guro.
Since then, having struck up a partnership with British journalist and filmmaker Jessica Kelly he has been developing a slate of documentaries about Iraq including their feature documentary, The Governor of Baghdad (2016) and their short film Roadmap, currently in post production. 

Project: LAYLA
Amid the smoldering heaps of a rubbish dump in Baghdad, a teenager, Assad, stumbles across a sex doll that has been left behind by the American military. Unable to resist the doll's appeal he breaks his virginity with her and soon starts renting her out to men in the neighborhood. The money starts flooding in and Assad feels like a king, but before long the Mahdi militia finds out about dirty business and decide to track him down.

DEEMA DABIS is a Palestinian Jordanian American Filmmaker and Fire performer. She has been performing since she was a young child and has been practicing the flow arts for over ten years both in the U.S. and Middle East. She co founded both a fire spinning Jam and collective in Amman, Jordan called Noor wa Nar. She is dedicated to spreading this movement practice to underserved populations in Jordan and beyond. Since a young age she always been in love with stories and the transformational power they carry. She got her masters in cinema with a focus in writing and editing from The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in 2012 writing and directing a number of short films. She was awarded a grant from the Jordan film fund for her short film “The Sri Lankan.” Her short film “Shake” played at over 20 film festivals all over the world receiving a number of awards and special mentions. She is currently developing her feature film “Shake” that was selected in RAWI screenwriting lab, Med Film Factory and for a three month writing residency with Beirut Film Station in 2016. In addition to this she is producing “From the Mountain” feature narrative film with Director Faisal Atrache along with a documentary by the same director “A Day Without Tomorrow”. She is interested in exploring and crossing the lines between performance and film and wants to understand the connection between internal and external borders and the refugees they create.

Project: SHAKE
Palestinian American fire dancer Kareemah takes a hitch hiking road trip through Palestine with fellow traveler and fire spinner Fahd who she just met recently in Haifa. They decide at the beginning of their journey from Bethlehem to Sinai to create a performance together to present at a gathering in Sinai. As they explore the boundaries of their own performance, along with the borders and walls they come up against, they accidentally wander into the borders of their own newly founded friendship and hearts.

FADI SYRIANI was born in Beirut. He is an Animation and Comic Artist, and a holder of a Masters Degree in Architecture. His work has been screened in several Film Festivals in Lebanon, Europe and Canada. Fadi is currently working on a short animated film and has been recently awarded the AFAC Grant for Cinema. His film was also nominated for the Robert Bosch Stiftung Film Prize for International Cooperation in 2015.

Project: THE FOOD MILITIA
A group of Arab rebels plot to take over a prominent Arabic Food Channel, and impose a new “program grid”.

KRISTIJAN KRAJNCAN (Kranj, Slovenia, 1986) is a drummer, director, composer, cellist and educator currently residing in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He has performed in more than 25 countries in Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East. He directed a number of music videos such as SayNo: “F**ck The Crisis” (2016), Romana Krajnč an: “Pravjo, da nej bi shujš ala” (, 2016).
He directed numerous short films such as “And Suddenly It’s Evening” (2015) that premiered at the Festival of Slovenian Film.

Project: THE FLOOD
A teenager reconnects with his father on a hiking trip high in the mountains, only to discover that the father is very sick and does not plan to return.

WAREF ABU QUBA is a Syrian filmmaker, he was born in the city of Al-Tall, which is only 14 km from Damascus. He has a bachelor in Graphic Art from the Faculty of Fine Arts - University of Damascus (2008). Since then he worked as a freelancer filmmaker and motion graphic designer with major companies nationally and internationally. Early in 2014 he sought asylum in Germany, and he is settled there since then. Waref completed 5 short films up to this date, and they were screened in national and international Festivals. 

Project: ZENITH
In a futuristic world, following the adventure of a former police officer in her journey to find out what went wrong with the society and forming a team in order to change things. 

WOUT MALESTEIN was born in a a run-of-the-mill Dutch Hamlet. He grew up with three older brothers that infected him with a love for movies tot the very core. After graduating at the HKU (Utrecht School of Arts)  his thesis film Ricochet was selected to compete in the student's competition during the 2014 Dutch Film Festival.  It was also selected for the Veteran Film Festival in Canberra, Australia and the International Short Film Festival GoShort in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. As a director Wout’s stories express a deeper understanding of humans senses and how these perceive the world. All the while staying true to universal experience, Wout creates sensible atmospheres and natural characters. 

Project: LIMINAL SPACE
A cage-fighter visits his demented father in a nursing home. His hope to reconcile with him results in a catharsis were both men fight for a last change for love.


'Best Screenplay Award' JURY MEMBERS

Darine Hotait (Lab founder & mentor) is an American Lebanese writer, film director and the founder of Cinephilia Productions. She wrote and directed a number of short films that went on to received multiple awards at International film festivals. Her most recent short film I SAY DUST (2015) screened at over 60 international film festivals such as HBO's Outfest and received multiple awards for Best Short Fiction. Her films were acquired and distributed by prestigious platforms such as AMC Networks, Sundance Channel, Shorts International, BBC Channel & Journal of Short Films. Her work mainly focuses on bridging literature and cinema while embodying a scientific approach and giving predominance to the science fiction genre.   
Aside from film, Darine is a published playwright and short story writer. Her science fiction literary work appeared in various publications in print and online as well as featured in exhibitions in New York, Berlin and London. She resides in New York City.

Rosh Abdelfatah is a Dutch-Syrian filmmaker and the artistic director of the Arab Camera Festival. At the Avans Hogeschool in Tilburg, he studied audio visual design. Besides the self-production of films and documentaries Rosh is since 2001 closely involved in the design and export of Arab film festivals in Rotterdam and serving since 2011 as artistic director of the Arab Camera Festival Rotterdam.

. Peter Delwel has been a lecturer of film and screenplay writing since 2001 at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam (Rotterdam University of Applied Science). Peter also worked on documentary, fiction and commercial productions for various broadcasting stations and studios. 

ABOUT ARAB CAMERA FESTIVAL

The Arab Camera Festival is an artistic forum where a nuanced image of the cultural, political, social and artistic situation in the Arab world is shown and in which films about hot topics in the Arab communities in Europe are programmed. By doing this, Arab Camera Festival creates space for an open dialogue about art, human rights, emancipation and political freedom in Arab countries and in Europe as a whole and in the Netherlands in particular. Dutch people with Arab roots get the chance to stay updated on the latest developments in their countries of origin in a way that goes beyond official media, mosques or their own social networks. The Arab Camera Festival offers a good occasion to attract urban youth that generally don’t feel attracted to mainstream cultural events. The Arab Camera Film Festival considers the development of young talents of the utmost importance and therefore organizes workshops and masterclasses given by filmmakers from the Arab World and Europe. Furthermore, we dedicate a part of the program to experimental films and developing talent. The Arab Camera Film Festival is organized by the Foundation WaaR art and culture. The foundation has several goals including promoting nuanced imaging in the cultural and societal atmosphere by producing or employment of audio-visual tools.

Official festival website: http://arabcamera.nl/