Header Out of a Diaspora, Advocate, 06/07/2016

This will actually be a short post today, as I’m preparing a longer series about political theory that’s going to get multi-part and weird. Today, I want to talk specifically about some of the film festival work I’m doing.

I’ve written about the Syria Film Festival before, the new arts organization I started working with about a year ago as it was getting off the ground. The first festival in 2015 was such a success that we’re all building on its reputation and relationships in a variety of different projects.

I mean, SYFF now has working relationships not only with a few other small film festivals around the city – with focusses in Arab communities and human rights advocacy. We’re also partners with the Toronto International Film Festival and the Aga Khan Museum. 

That’s pretty tight. We’re also developing a couple of small film projects of our own. One is a series of interviews with Syrian newcomer families that came in the first wave of refugees in the early months of the Trudeau Jr government. Another is a larger short film, Syrian Eagles.

This will be a documentary – maybe 15 to 20 minutes long – about a soccer team of newcomers from Syria, who practice in the west end of Toronto, in a field near Eglinton Avenue and (I think) Jane. It’s a small film with a budget that we’re crowdfunding, and with a little help from a few more people, we can produce a sparkling little film.

* Yes, yes, shameless plug and all.

We can seriously get so much done with only a few thousand dollars. I’m quite impressed with all that we’ve done so far in terms of finding film professionals to work on this project with us, and conceiving and planning the whole affair.

Because I’ve hardly done any of this end of the planning. Most of my initiatives are about outreach for partnerships with other film festivals, particularly JAYU Human Rights Film Festival and TIFF. My own filmmaking work, I do on my own.

I sometimes wonder if we’re overextending ourselves with all these different projects in only our second year. But then, I’m one to talk, aren’t I?

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