Previous Events

1

Online Screening of The Fruit of Our Labor – May 17th on Culture Unplugged

culture unplugged

 

 

 

Did you know that Culture Unplugged hosts film festivals online free for all to see? Watch The Fruit of Our Labor: Afghan Perspectives in Film on Friday, May 17th at 11:30PM EST on Culture Unplugged.

In an effort to transcend isolation and ignorance, Culture Unplugged focuses on producing and promoting films that are socially sensitive and culturally conscious. Their mission is to nurture and spread enlightening films, fostering a strong sense of community on a local and global scale.

The Fruit of Our Labor

The Fruit of Our Labor is a collection of 10 short documentary films made by 10 Afghans during a training conducted by Community Supported Film in the fall of 2010. These character-driven shorts highlight the complex daily realities of contemporary Afghanistan, while also showing the agency and capacity of Afghans to solve their own problems. The films bring a much-needed local perspective to the debate about the immediate and long-term future of Afghanistan.

 

1

Screening and Presentation at West Virginia State University – April 25th

West Virginia’s Department of Communications & Media Studies will host a screening of The Fruit of Our Labor films, including a presentation by CSFilm director Michael Sheridan by Skype.  Q&A to follow.West Virginia State University

Thursday, April 25th 2013 at 7pm
West Virginia State University
Davis Fine Arts Theater
Washington Ave and Presidents Drive
Dunbar, West Virginia
The Fruit of Our Labor: Afghan Perspectives in Film is a collection of documentary shorts made by Afghan filmmakers during an intensive five week training by Community Supported Film.  The films bring to life Afghans’ daily efforts to address their challenging social and economic conditions, offering a personal and first-hand Afghan point of view rarely seen or heard in the US – even after 10 years of intense media coverage.

0

Community Supported Film to Present at “Art and Technology in the Middle East” Conference at Columbia University

ta'alimOn April 18th Michael Sheridan will be one of several panelists presenting at Intersections of the Global and Local in Education in the Middle East – the 2013 TA’ALIM conference on the role of art, media and technology  in education in Middle Eastern countries, held at the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York.

Thursday, April 18th 2013
9am-3:15pm
Grade Dodge Hall 179,
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th St New York, NY 10027

Teacher   College at Columbia University

 

 

 

During the discussion the panelists will focus on how various media can help to aid the issues facing the Middle East. The day will consist of a video-conference between graduate students in the U.S., students at the American University in Cairo, and students at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. All students are in various stages of conducting or planning research on education in the region and will have a forum to share their successes and challenges. There will then be a panel of professionals and screenings of short films.

Panel: Art, Media and Technology in Education

12:45-2:15pm

Nada Elattar, Sesame Workshop
Kristyn Mohr, Global Nomads Group
Jennifer Lauren, T21
Abdullah Schleifer, Middle East Institute
Michael Sheridan, Community Supported Film
Moderator: Erin Twohig, Doctoral Candidate in French &
Roman Philology, Columbia University

Learn more about the event and register.

0

First International Women’s Film Festival in Afghanistan Features Two “Fruit of Our Labor” Directors

The first International Women’s Film Festival in Afghanistan was held this year from March 6th to 9th. The festival, scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day, was in Herat and featured 36 films from 20 countries on the theme of women and marginalized populations.

Mona HaidariBearing the Weight by Mona Haidari and The Road Above by Aqueela Rezai, both from the Fruit of Our Labor collection, were official selections. Congratulations to these women and their continued success! Read below to find out more about the festival.

 

Light at the end of the tunnel

By Nupur Basu of The Hindu
March 23, 2013

Stories of resilience dominated the first International Film Festival on Women in Afghanistan.

Around 700 years ago, Queen Goharshad, wife of a Timouri heir, is said to have inspired a Renaissance in Herat, Afghanistan’s western province. Seven centuries later, a group of women filmmakers in Afghanistan have inspired a similar change in their war-ravaged country. The historic city of Herat, close to the Iran border and the setting for Khaled Hosseini’s celebrated novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, played host to the First International Film Festival on Women from March 6-9.

The citadel, better known as Qala Ikhtyaruddin or Arg and said to have been built by Emperor Alexander around 300 BC, made a stunning venue. Over the next three days, women, men and children braved news of bomb blasts, snowfall, rain, icy winds and bright sunshine to watch 36 films from 20 countries on the theme of women and the marginalised, even as dozens of armed Afghan National Police stood guard outside. Like the awesome venue, this festival for women to observe International Women’s Day was a daring first in Afghanistan. “This is an unbelievable event for us and gives us a lot of hope that things can change one day,” said Wida Saghani, a homemaker living with her children, husband and in-laws in Herat.

As a province that has produced the maximum number of women filmmakers in Afghanistan in the last 10 years, it was not surprising that Herat was the venue. Ironically, in recent years, the province has also reported the maximum number of self-immolations by Afghan women, frustrated by forced marriages, lack of access to education and work and domestic violence.

In a long tunnel-like structure in the Citadel, stories about women and people living on the margins unfolded on the screen. Afghan filmmaker Alka Sadat, who was born in Herat, explored a recurrent problem in her Violence Against Women: 10 Years On. “Although no longer in power, the Taliban, it appears, is present in the shadows and their brutal practices and policies towards women, especially in the countryside, are still profoundly visible,” says Sadat, whose debut documentary bagged the Afghan Peace Prize.

The theme of a country ravaged by civil war surfaced in different ways. Laila, directed Batool Moradi, was a poignant documentary on mental illness caused by the stress of war through the stories of women in the mental institution of Red Cresent Hospital in Kabul. Stories of resilience, of women fighting the most challenging odds, came up in story after story. Both Again Life, by award-winning director Hassan Fazeli, and Bearing the Weight, by Mona Haidari, tell the stories of Afghan women who pick up the pieces of their lives devastated by war and soldier on. Well-known director and actor Aqueela Rezai depicts how men’s addiction to alcohol and drugs affects women in The Road Above. Addiction is a recurrent theme in Afghan fiction and non-fiction films. Zabiullah Fahim in Flavour of Powder tells a terrifying tale of a poor addict who tears up his daughter’s belly and leaves his wife with the drug dealer in exchange for heroin. In Icy Sun, Ramin Mohammadi tells another chilling tale of a young woman who aspires to be an actor and ends up being raped and sold to a drug dealer.

The subject of immigration is also an important issue. In an Afghan and Slovakia co-production Light Breeze: Memories of an Immigrant Girl, Sahraa Karimi weaves a screenplay around her own experiences in a new country. Through poems and notes in her diary, the protagonist depicts her innermost feelings as an immigrant. In Where Do I Belong, a film from Iran, Mahvash Sheikholeslami tells the story of Iranian girls married to Afghan men living in Iran and Afghanistan.

“I find women filmmakers from Afghanistan very avant-garde, extremely brave. The women from Iran certainly have better technical expertise and support but, as far as depicting the feelings, emotions and storytelling go, women filmmakers from Afghanistan are on a par. Both tell their stories from the heart,” says Marziyeh Riahi, Editor-in-Chief of Short Film News from Iran.

Oscar-winning Afghan director Sediq Barmak was all praise for the courage shown by Afghan women filmmakers who are pursuing their creative talents, despite threats from fundamentalist forces. “This was a landmark festival for women in Afghanistan and filmmakers in this country and I hope that the government comes forward to support this festival every year in Herat.”

The festival was the brainchild of Roya Sadat, Afghanistan’s leading woman director, who was born and schooled in Herat. She chose Herat as the venue because “in a place where women do not really come out of their homes, they have stepped out to watch our festival. Nothing could give me more pleasure and joy.”

Afghanistan’s film industry, which was virtually decimated during the Taliban years, has been struggling to find its feet in the last 10 years. Director of Afghan Films Ibrahim Arify, who was at the festival, remarked that the number of women in Afghan films has been climbing. “What they need is co-productions, scholarships and training programmes.”

Besides films from Afghanistan and Iran, the festival included films from India, Venezuela, Tajikistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Turkey, France, Canada and Thailand.

As the curtains came down, the rich voices of Sufi singers and traditional Persian musical instruments filled the citadel square as hundreds of women, men and children enjoyed this cultural bonanza. The sounds of bomb blasts faded as Heratis once again relished this moment of deep freedom, even if momentarily, in the seat of culture in Afghanistan.

0

Online Video Fest of the Films in Full – through April 8th!

Special Broadcast of the films in FullWatch ten brilliant films made by Afghans in a storytelling training conducted by Community Supported Film. Between March 13th and April 8th, NAMAC (The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture) and Community Supported Film will bring you the entire Fruit of Our Labor collecion FREE and IN FULL here! These films are poetic tributes to a country rebuilding itself, and serve as excellent teaching tools for educators in media production, cross-cultural communications, and international development.

Make sure you check out this video conversation with Jamal Aram from the filmmaking team in Afghanistan, CS Film Founder Michael Sheridan, and Helen de Michiel former director of NAMAC.  They discuss sustainable approaches to community-based storytelling, the ethics and practicalities of multinational storytelling, and the curricular models and tools that go into produce such stunning, such moving films.

Page 3 of 1312345...10...Last »