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Film-makers with a cause.


ARAB film-makers have the power to make a difference in the region by focusing on important social issues, according to a visiting film director.

Egyptian director Hala Galal says that film-makers have the responsibility of highlighting issues that have a negative impact on their societies so they could be corrected, particularly those related to women's rights.

"My dream is for my children to live in a world where there is equality among men and women, that's why I decided to produce these films," said Ms Gala, who has been directing films for 17 years.

She was in Bahrain to conduct a five-day creativity workshop on film editing and innovative camera technologies.

"We are mainly concentrating on the different styles and techniques young film-makers can use in their films," said the Egyptian director.

Ms Galal is the co-founder of SEMAT, an Egyptian organisation for independent films. It has supported young film-makers ever since its launch seven years ago and it's the first and only film association in Egypt that supports independent films.

She has conducted many workshops across the globe, but this is her first time in Bahrain.

"I am impressed by the talent these young film-makers have," said Ms Gala.

During the workshop, held at Al Rawaq Art Gallery, 12 Bahraini film-makers brainstorming discussion with Ms Galal on new ideas for short films and different editing techniques.

Each film-maker was given the chance to direct a one-minute short film at the end of the workshop, which also featured a screening of Ms Galal's works.

Women's Chitchat and People's Affairs are alternative short fiction and documentaries that address various social issues.

Women's Chitchat is about women's independence movement in Egypt in the early 1920s, while People's Affairs is about the laws of marriage in Egypt, which is based on the Islamic Sharia'a.

SEMAT has produced 60 films and won 40 international awards at the International Film Festival in Mumbai, Dubai Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival and the Egyptian National Film Festival among others.

Copyright [c] 2008 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 11, 2008
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