I am listening to Cara Mertes from the Sundance Institute, she has a power point presentation. Behind her is a quote by Robert Redford: Because audiences are starved for new ideas, voices and visions… as a motivation to set up the festival and the Sundance Documentary Film Program. It is film culture and not television we are focusing on, she says.
The room is full of young upcoming filmmakers from this region, where history happens every day. Yesterday the demonstrators were attacked at the Tahrir Square in Cairo, Libya is burning, in Saudi demonstrations are banned… The filmmakers from Egypt go online several times during the day to check the news.
Women, young women are here and they might not have professionally developed projects yet, but they have strong proposals and treatments:
A Moroccan filmmaker wants to make a film about a woman, who makes wedding videos in a male society. A Syrian filmmaker wants to make a film about three different women, one, in her fifties, who is totally open to talk about her sexuality, one who is raised in a strict religious environment and the filmmaker herself, who takes experience from her own hard upbringing. A Jordanian filmmaker who wants to make a film about a girl, who was brought up in orphanages and has fought her way out of misery, and is very much helped by the filmmaker herself. Who by the way used to play in the Jordanian national football tema for women… yes, you get surprised in this training Campus at the Dox Box Festival, you learn a lot from the participants, you get alternative information and is told not to trust BBC and other Western media, or the Al Jazeera. This is why documentaries are so important, is it not?
Robert Redford talks from the screen, it is about bringing people together – as they are doing here in Damascus.
Photo: There are still demonstrators at the Tahrir Square (Ekstra Bladet, Copenhagen some days ago)