Below you will find texts about some of the presentations at the Storydoc in Athens. But there was much more to take from the seminar
It was only natural to have Syrian Diana el Jeiroudi make a follow-up of her presentation of the Syrian situation as she delivered it at the first session in Corfu four months earlier. What she focused on was the fact that people want to see themselves, contrary to before, when they were hiding. The documentarians in her country are moving towards a tradition that has been very long present in Palestine – the collectiveness of filmmaking. She had found a similar situation reflected in the television situation in Tunisia, where al Jazeera before the revolution had had the lead, now taken over by the Tunisian public broadcaster that brings local stories and aims for freedom of expression. What concerns the continuation of the DoxBox festival in Damascus, she and her team have ideas to substitute a festival and a campus that right now seem to be impossible to take place in Damascus.
A veteran in Storydoc Athens is Danish editor Niels Pagh Andersen, who again took the audience by the heart with his inspirational lecture on how to tell stories. He showed the film of Iranian/Swedish director Nahid Persson, ”Prostitution Behind the Veil”, and deconstructed the film’s dramaturgy. Andersen had meetings with all filmmakers looking at material, asking questions and giving feedback.
His words were many times echoed by ardent Madeleine Avramoussis from arte, a regular visitot to Greece, the contact to Greek filmmakers when it comes to coproductions (like ”Sayomé” by Anemon Productions, see below, will be broadcasted December 27 in a theme evening that also includes ”Lost in Translation”) and a strong advocate for the character driven documentary where you sense ”the progression of a character”. As is Wim van Rompaey from Lichtpunt, who (as the only one?) was optimistic and found that the decreasing budgets in public television could help the much more cheap documentary to become stronger on the schedule. Van Rompaey gave a precise picture of the situation in Belgium for documentaries and showed clips from his channel, classic intelligent television.
PS. A very sad piece of information opened the seminar: The Egyptian filmmaker Jasmina Metwaly had cancelled her participation as her friend, a filmmaker as well, had been shot at on Tahrir Square and was hospitalised as a patient in coma.