Celebrating Syria – a Festival of Arts and Culture

… in Manchester, July 10-23, organised by Rethink Rebuild Society: ”A fortnight of exhibition, films, theatre, live music, talks by writers, panel discussions and interactive art workshops exploring Syrian arts and culture before and after 2011.The first of its kind in the UK, this festival is a celebration of a hopeful, inspiring and imaginative face of Syria and the Syrian people and their rich contribution to the collective history of human expression.”

And it is indeed an inspiring program that is offered. CHECK THE WEBSITE, LINK BELOW. When it comes to films there are three works to be screened:

The masterpiece “Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait” from 2014 by Wiam Simav Bedirxan and Ossama Mohammed. The latter will be in Manchester for a masterclass.

“La Dolce Siria: A Short Film Trilogy” by Ammar Al-Beik”. The wonderful photo is from “La Dolce Siria” (2014), that has this description from the site of the event: A satirical response to Federico Fellini’s 1960 comedy-drama La Dolce Vita, this film unfolds as a poignant narrative of the dramatic events affecting Syria and leading to the extinction of love and happiness, which Fellini’s protagonist Marcello Rubini was unsuccessfully looking for decades ago. “Vita’ is not ‘dolce’ in Syria Federico! No fireworks around the tent Federico. Scud and bombs are the fireworks that we recognise, my friend. No one can tame the lion here in this tent. It’s smashing everything and everyone. I forgot to tell this earlier: Lion in Arabic means Assad’.

And finally “Tadmor” by Monika Borgmann and Lokman Slimvia, feature length: Tadmor is the Arabic name for the Syrian city Palmyra, home of one of the most magnificent ancient cities dating back to the 3rd century BC.  Palmyra became the centre of an empire, headed by Queen Zenobia, which took over most of the Roman East, including Egypt.

Tadmor is also associated in the Syrian people’s collective consciousness with one of the most notorious political prisons in recent history, where prisoners, often detained for many years without trial, have been subjected to the most horrendous forms of systematic torture…In the film, 8 former Lebanese detainees (yes, people from all over the world were detained there, not just Syrians) decide to break their silence about the years they spent in Tadmor prison and to tell their story. They rebuild Tadmor in an abandoned school near Beirut so that they can re-enact their experience, overcome it and move on…


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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