Article in the “heraldscotland” on Bidayyat short films, screened at Glasgow film festival
THE caption included in the closing credits brings you up short and reminds you just how perilous life is in Syria.
During the four months it took to make the short film, ‘Siege’, one film-maker lost his father to a sniper from the Assad regime. Another was almost kidnapped, and a third was killed during an ISIS attack on the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp in Damascus.
The casualties did not end there. The co-ordinator of the Watad Center, the main partner in the making of the short film, was assassinated in his home.
“This is just a small glimpse of the siege on Southern... more
The Camera and the Samopal
The sky fell. The rusty fragments of metal rent air thick with the reek of bodies burnt by artillery fire and napalm. The buildings, warring with the thickets of lance-like rifles, groaned in the pitch-black night, alive with the endless screams of people who could find no way to live save tearing one another to pieces.
The sky dropped earthwards with the falling barrel, the distance between it and the machine guns and the gore-drenched bodies beneath less than the distance that divides the 50mm lens in the bag from the 55mm lens on the camera. The barrel takes seven seconds... more
A home on a rainbow
“3 years ago, the inhabitants of “Al Marj” refugee camp located in the Bikaa Valley, fled from different regions in Syria to find refuge in Lebanon. Instead of finding a safe haven, they were subjected to a sudden order of evacuation on the grounds of the tents being in proximity to a military zone. The authorities granted the refugees only 5 days to dismantle their laboriously built tents, without offering any alternative settlement option.”
Director: Rami Nihawi, Lina Alabed and Nadim Deaibes
Duration: 14:14 min
Year of production: 2015
Produced by: Bidayyat
I am the picture and the picture is me
The crowds fill the foreground, a river of thin bodies, faces packed between two parallel, receding lines of ruined buildings. The closest face is that of an elderly woman, wearing black shawl on her head. I’ve never seen an exhausted face with quite this kind of parched fatigue before. It is an epic image, it could be a canvas by some great artist, but the truth is it is just a single snapshot from the siege of the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus.
How can an image such as this be beautiful, so very beautiful?
We are used to describing colours as beautiful... more
“Coma” a film by Sara Fattahi
The film shows the micro cosmos of three generations of women from one family. In detailed observation their movements between the present and an ever existing past is followed as their lives intersect while living together in one house. Coexisting, but separated by the age and time that each carry in them, they share their painful experiences and search for a way of life in the loss and agony of the war around them. Their lives overlapped with the events of Damascus, their city and constant reference, they watch while its organs slowly shut down, as if – just like... more
A DAY AND A BUTTON
When you can no longer rebel, when your country turns into a big prison, you walk
In the same place you used to rebel in, your memory walks you, because the place has changed, or the people were killed, imprisoned, shelled, displaced
A city split in 2, regime and liberated, and where is your place?
Relax..you're in Damascus!
Director: Azza Hamwi
Duration: 6:49 min
Year of production: 2015
Produced by: Bidayyat
About Bidayyat's films production on "Voice of America" by Heather Murdock
Syrian filmmakers are touring European film festivals this week, screening "Our Terrible Country," a film that explores an intergenerational friendship amid kidnappings, war and exile.
In this documentary, a young man named Ziad laughs with his white-haired companion, Yassin. They are in Turkey, having fled Syria after Ziad was captured and tortured by Islamic State militants. Yassin is in exile, fearing both the government and the Islamic State.
The film is not about what happened in the past, said its director, Ali Atassi. It was happening as they were shooting.
"I did stop shooting when Ziad was arrested by the Islamic State," Atassi... more
About Bidayyat's production "Being Good So Far" part 2 by Orwa Al Mokdad written by Emma Farne'
Il cortometraggio di un giovane siriano
Siria, ecco Aleppo come non l'avete mai vista
Orwa al Mokdad è un 29enne di Deraa e attraverso Bidayyat, ong siriana, mostra in "Being Good so Far" quello che, secondo lui, "non si vede sui media". Di sé dice: "Non sono un turista, né un giornalista. Sono un cittadino siriano e questa è la mia rivoluzione"
Orwa al Mokdad
Siria, bombardamenti ad Aleppo. Almeno 16 morti
Siria, pioggia di bombe ad Aleppo: 40 morti in 24 ore
Siria, strage di bambini ad Aleppo
Satira e caricature, gli arabi deridono i militanti dello Stato Islamico
L'Aleppo siriana come la Berlino di Rossellini in... more
Our Terrible Country Bidayyat's full production film at the Daily Star By Jim Quilty
BEIRUT: “Daaesh.” Yassin Haj Saleh pauses as if the word, the Arabic acronym for ISIS, were a question in need of an answer.
“It’s a fitting name,” he answers himself, “for a monster.”
Haj Saleh is sitting in Douma, in the eastern Ghouta, some 10 kilometers from central Damascus. Several weeks later, he and Syrian filmmaker Ziad Homsi have made the journey from Douma to Raqqa.
“Daaesh,” Haj Saleh says, three months and several hundred kilometers beyond Raqqa, is “ ... the cancerous growth of our revolution.”
These remarks are recorded in “Our Terrible Country,” a documentary co-directed by Homsi and his countryman Mohammed Ali Atassi. The film had its... more
About Bidayyat's production "I am Blue" by Abo Ghabi written by Jinnfer Machenzie
In at least one place where tomorrow feels lost, music still fills the gashed present with a kind of home-made mercy. The place is Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp outside Damascus, the present is a siege of over 450 days, and the music—unlike water and electricity–keeps flowing unstoppably from Ayham Ahmad’s battered upright piano.
Much more than a mere soundtrack, this music is the hero of the short, bittersweet documentary “I Am Blue”, which pays homage to Ayham’s insistence on composing in the midst of devastation, and the camp’s collective struggle to endure. Indeed, rather than surrendering to despair, the composer and... more
Spanish Article about Bidayyat's "Our Terrible Country
Ganadora del más importante premio en la reciente edición del Festival de Cine de Marsella, Our Terrible Country de Mohammed Ali Atassi y Ziad Homsi es el relato de un exilio en plena guerra de Siria, vigente y que viene cobrando cientos de víctimas ante la inoperancia internacional. El mayor valor de este documental hecho al alimón radica en la inmediatez, en registrar desde el corazón mismo de este conflicto el espíritu de reconstrucción y posibilidad de los habitantes que aún se resisten a abandonar zonas fantasmales, bombardeadas y dejadas en nada.
Los dos jóvenes cineastas apuestan en la primera media... more
About Bidayyat's full production "Our Terrible Country" in Italian
Corre l’anno 2013, la Siria è entrata nel terzo anno di guerra civile. Siamo a Douma, una città a nord est di Damasco, liberata dai ribelli che combattono il regime al governo, ma trasformata dai ripetuti bombardamenti in un monotono loop di echi e macerie, un deserto sotto assedio, dove sono in pochi a resistere. È qui che inizia Our Terrible Country, Siria Libano 2014, il documentario di Mohammed Ali Atassi e Ziad Homsi, presentato questo mese alla 25º edizione del FID – International Film Fest di Marsiglia. Vincitore della menzione speciale Espérance Prize, il documentario segue lo scrittore e dissidente Yassin al Haj Saleh,... more
Portrait of BIDAYYAT in the Daily Star Lebanon, by Jim Quilty
Earlier this month at the FIDMarseille international film festival, the Competition Grand Prize went to a feature-length documentary called “Our Terrible Country.” This Syrian-Lebanese co-production was co-directed by Mohammed Ali Atassi and Ziad Homsi, Syrian filmmakers of two generations. A road movie of sorts, “Our Terrible Country” documents another inter-generational relationship.
It follows dissident Syrian intellectual Yassin Haj Saleh as he treks from Douma, northeast of Damascus, to Raqqa, the northern town where he was born, then into exile in Turkey. It is an emotional passage. Haj Saleh was forced to leave his wife in Douma. Homsi, who accompanied the dissident... more
Recently, the phenomenon of military brigades and factions that fight in the Syrian revolution and release statements claiming to possess the exclusive right to speak in the name of revolution and as those who own the truth has increased. This short video is a reminder to modesty, keeping in mind that there's not perfection.
We are coming to slaughter you, by: Syria Untold
In February of 2013, in the northern side of Syria, over in a little town of Binnish, some extremists published a video showing a child being held on the shoulders of young men as he sings for Al-Qaida, Bin Laden and incited to kill the Alawites and Shiites in Syria.
Few months after, the supporters of Assad from the “Fourth Brigade” of the Syrian Army (known for its act of the bloody killing), recorded another video showing a child singing songs insulting the revolution and all its supporters.“Bidayyat” also had something to say for those who film and upload these kinds... more
The Arab Fund For Art and Culture - AFAC
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) was established in 2007 by local cultural lobbyists as an independent initiative that funds individuals and organizations in the fields of cinema, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts while facilitating cultural exchange, research and cooperation across the Arab world and globally.
AFAC strives to play a leading role in achieving its vision of a thriving Arab art and cultural scene and to serve as a catalyst for homegrown philanthropic initiatives across the Arab world, by listening to and engaging with artists and cultural practitioners, analyzing and assessing their needs, facilitating cooperation and... more
Marseille International Festival Of Documentary Films
A festival to what end? To share with the public today’s cinemas. Yes, the cinema harbors a plural, a plurality of forms, formats, lengths, approaches and gazes. A unique moment when directors from all over the world rub nourish our present with all they have. If FIDMarseille’s roots are in the documentary, it is to remember realities are our ground, without forgetting that this soil propagates many different worlds and even more ways of bearing witness to them. And if this testimony is a necessity, an urgency, it is with the conscience that we must find the courage, the precision,... more
Extremely Morbid Satire from Syria
The videos coming out of Syria of the nightmarish scenes of unspeakable violence and hatred have shaken people from around the world. It makes one doubt humanity and what some people are capable of: excruciatingly agonizing decapitations and cannibalizing raw organs, on tape.
I will not embed these gruesome videos here because I am still reeling from the carnage and gore. What’s worse is that children are present at these very public executions, that pre-teen innocent boys are being taught songs inciting violence, hatred and even butchering of people from other sects.
The video above, is a very morbid sarcastic video, and... more