Contemporary Arab Women Film Makers
Dr. Alejandra Val Cubero (in English)
Tuesday, April 23rd – 9:30am – 10:30am

The Arab world is often perceived as a monolith, but it is made up of different societal forms. Little attention has been paid to the subject of cultural identity of Arab Cinema but a new generation of Arab Filmmakers, most of them educated at home and also abroad, and under forty-years-old, are coming up with a new way to make movies and to represent their countries. Not only are they more interested in documentaries and experimental films (replacing 35mm and 16 mm cameras with digital cameras and using other platforms such as YouTube) but also their feature films, short films and documentaries revisit themes which have already been explored, for instance the situation in Palestine, or exile or war, whilst adding a fresh perspective associated with greater cinematic expertise. This masterclass will showcase this new wave of young filmmakers in the Arab world in which women filmmakers are for the first time overrepresented.

About Dr. Cubero

Alejandra Val Cubero holds a Ph.D. from the Complutense University of Madrid and has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the Carlos III University of Madrid, where she was also in charge of the Erasmus Program for Students. Val Cubero has conducted Predoctoral Research at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the University of Chisinev (Moldova) and Postdoctoral Research at Harvard University (USA) and Jawaharlal Nehru (India). She has also worked in the Press Department of the Institute for Women (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Madrid) and as a consultant at Altai Research in Afghanistan, working on projects for international organizations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, and USAID. Val Cubero has published more than twenty articles on topics related to media and cinema and five books. The last two books are focused on the life and work of the Bengali film director Aparna Sen (2015) and the French filmmaker Alice Guy (2016). Alejandra Val is also curating the Arab section in Cinema Festivals like the Women Festival in Madrid (March, April 2019) and she is currently working on a new book: Contemporary Arab Filmmakers.


The Television Picture
Dr. Yousef AlFailakawi (in Arabic)
Monday, April 22nd – 10:30am – 11:30am

A lot of people think they know how to take pictures or record videos. After all, it is just a matter of pressing the shutter and record button, right? Well, not exactly. Apparently, there is more to just pointing and taking shots if the goal is to get an impressive and professionally done video clip or photos. The basic formula for an effective video though is effective shots and framing. You need to know what makes a shot a good shot at a specific scene at a specific moment for a specific show and for a specific viewer. How is this achieved? This masterclass will discuss the importance of the television pictures to the viewers. The masterclass will also discuss how to take the right shots that will create the desired effect and make the viewers enjoy the show and remember the scene. This lecture will examine the language and the elements of the effective pictures.

About Dr. AlFailakawi

Dr. Yousef Alfailakawi is an assistant professor at Kuwait University. He served as the Head of the Mass Communication Department at Kuwait University (2009-2011). He was the President of Arab-US Association for  Communication Educators (2012-2014). Alfailakawi received his BA from Denver University, a Master’s degree from Murray State University, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of South Carolina in Television Production. Before that, he worked as a TV director with Kuwait Television in which he directed more than 381 TV films and spots. He also won the Best Documentary TV Director in 1994 during the Arab States Broadcasting Union festival. He also served as a media consultant for many government and private sectors. He supervised many master and Ph.D. thesis and dissertations. His teaching areas are TV Productions, Documentary films, Visual Communication, Mass Media Theory, Mass Media Research, Public Opinion, Script Writing, and News writing. His research and professional interests are social media, TV productions, documentary films, media research, new media technology, and effects.


Teamwork in Film
Afra AlMarar (in Arabic)
Monday, April 22nd – 9:30am – 10:30am

Did you know that all your favorite films needed a huge team to make them happen? Making a good film requires a team and that is crucial for creating a successful one. A one-man show never wins, if it does, it only works on small scale. In addition to that, good example of best collaborative team is Disney – Pixar, it’s the largest scale too!

One person can’t be the writer, director, director of photography, producer and editor. There is no team. This masterclass is a about how working as a team and finding your team is very important to create a successful and enjoyable experience. Working in harmony is key to make the project as good and creative as possible. First, we need to figure out how we as team leaders work well. – know your strengths and weaknesses and personality flaws, then build your team around this. Then, atmosphere: How to build a creative atmosphere for the team? It requires the following:

  • Food, rest and compliments are important throughout the production.
  • Hiring and firing process is important to the team.
  • How should we divide the responsibilities and results?
  • How can we celebrate success, and ensure that the team is motivated for the next project? All those questions are crucial throughout the whole process of making a successful film.

About Al Marar

Founder of Toaster Productions is an Emirati Film and TV director, producer and an entrepreneur. After working in the media-government sector with TwoFour54 and in the advertising field, she started her production company Toaster productions in 2014. She emerged to be one of the women leaders in film making and producing within the UAE. She has worked on numerous numbers of short films as a producer and a director. She was also a speaker in numbers of workshops called Akoun which is created for university students by TwoFour54 to nurture and develop the culture of entrepreneurship amongst young UAE Nationals. Her passion is in creating content from the region while collaborating with international media companies as well. Afra works as a producer for the show Al Rayeh in Baynonah TV and she directs and works with Sesame Street (Arabic Edition).

Beauty and Tolerance between Art and Cinema
Dr. Rachid Naim (in English)
Monday, April 22nd – 11:30am – 12:30pm

Beauty in art may have some rational properties, such as “order, symmetry, and proportion,” but reason alone cannot explain the process of an art experience. Art plays a central part in the creation of culture and in the deep core of any culture lies important concepts such as difference, otherness, diversity and above all tolerance. This latter concept is closely linked to art because aesthetic responses to the artwork are often underdetermined not only by the artist’s intentions but also the ability of the art lover to accept otherness and to be tolerant. Nevertheless, every student can learn how to appreciate and evaluate beyond these artistic intentions. This masterclass can explain to the students how the concept of « beauty » evolved through the times (Egypt, Greece, Arab-Muslim era, Renaissance…) and how it can help them to understand both artistic and cinematographic productions.

About Dr. Naim

Dr. Rachid Naim is a Moroccan film critic and journalist. He holds a Ph. D. in film history and communication studies and is currently a professor at Cadi Ayyad University, Safi, Morocco. He is the founder and artistic director of the Journées Cinématographiques de Safi. He is also member of the Moroccan Association of Film Critics (AMCC) and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). Dr. Naim publishes articles and books about topics linked to cinema, representation and art. He frequently participates as lecturer in festivals and seminars around the world (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, France, United Kingdom, Belgium). As a jury member, Dr. Naim took part in many international film festivals such as: the 26th edition of the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (FESPACO) in 2019; the 40th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt (CIFF) in 2018; the 2016 and 2017 editions of Morocco’s National Film Festival; the 1st edition of Rabat’s Festival of Film and Audiovisual Schools of Africa in 2017, the 13th edition of TransSaharian Zagora International Film Festival in 2016.