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I thought of a film festival worthy of Baghdad and its people



I thought of a film festival worthy of Baghdad and its people

Nisar Shaheed al-Fatham: I thought of a film festival worthy of Baghdad and its people

Iraqi director and writer Nisar Shahid al-Fadam began his career in cinema in the mid-1980s after graduating from the Film Institute in Cairo. Before directing his first feature film titled “Operation 911”, he worked in television, directing plays and TV shows. He also worked in Libya, Oman and Egypt. He founded the Sumer Film Festival, was its director and published Sumer, an electronic cinema magazine. New Arab interviewed him about his artistic experiences.

The 1980s were fertile years for Iraqi cinema, and you started with your first film, Operation 911, but then stopped. what is the reason?

The eighties were not prosperous, with Iraq entering the war with Iran there were few works, the country’s resources and skills were directed towards the war economy, which was the misfortune of cinema in Iraq. A major development is on the verge of completing infrastructure and production. All this stopped, and Iraqi cinema, like all other fields of culture and art, entered a dark tunnel. It exits one war, enters another, and an economic blockade exhausts the people and destroys the country.
The opportunity to run Operation 911 was lost. However, situations like his ban after a special screening held for journalists and filmmakers in the “Field of Cinema and Theater” for personal motives affected me personally. The ban lasted so long that its screening was delayed, thus delaying my introduction as a film director until 1993.
Despite limited opportunities in the “cinema and theater industry”, he got an opportunity to make the documentary “The Door” in 1992, after which he signed a contract with television to move the “16mm” filmmaking wheel. Since 1984, he has directed four films, including “The Mud Song”, winner of the first prize at the “Documentary Film Festival” organized by the Syndicate of Artists, written by Noori Al-Rawi, photographed by Shakib Rashid and edited by Sahib Hadad. ; and “The Punishment”, script and commentary by Tamar Mahdi, cinematography by Salman Mazal, and editing by Hadad.

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Was your departure for theater and television in general due to a lack of film production or your desire to work in television?

Due to the lack of opportunities, I moved to television work and if opportunities were available, the struggle for them was fierce. Since I was not an employee in the “cinema and theater industry”, I had limited opportunities, especially due to conventional environments.
My colleagues in television, although it was a closed circle, any media company at the time, especially when Faisal Al-Yasiri was its director, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​with an external “external agreement” for you to run a cinema production on television and to complete five films. Employment contract. Filmed on 16mm, raw material in stock. This was the first step towards reaching the audience and continuing to work in TV shows and plays. I presented films like Abdul Amir Shamki’s “Train 2001” and Saba Adwan’s “Hot Water” on Baghdad TV. , and TV nights. , documentaries and programs in vivid cinematic style and image.

He worked in more than one Arab country, in cinema and television. What about that?

I studied cinema for five years in Egypt, where I joined many Egyptian filmmakers such as Makti Ahmed Ali, Waheed Mukaimar, Tariq Al-Rizkhani, Ahmed Mukhtar, Mohsen Ahmed, Ahmed Sakr and many others. Thanks to the Film Critics Association and Cinema Club, I got to know critics including Sameer Farid, Kamal Ramji, Ali Abu Shadi and Dawood Abdel Sami. I also entered “Studio Misr Al-Ahram” and “Studio Misr”, saw the shooting of many films and lived behind the scenes of the production of some films. This contributed to my development as a director. Therefore, I did not work as an assistant to anyone because I had a strong feeling that I qualified to be a director in Baghdad, Libya and the Sultanate of Oman, where I worked between 1999 and 2003, which resulted in the establishment of an advertising department on television, more than 40 educational and directing plays and a The preparation for the larger series, which was abandoned by the US invasion of Iraq, is Way Out After I Leave. In 2007, I was asked to direct the series “Chess” with actors and technicians from Oman, Bahrain, UAE and India.

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You are the founder and director of Sumar Film Festival. What about him?

The festival came out of nowhere. As for me, before that the “Days of Military Cinema” festival and for one session of the “Iraq Film Festival”, I was the director of the festival. Before this, I had people asking me for advice and help with programming, organizing juries, inviting guests, selecting films. So, when I thought of establishing the “Sumar Film Festival”, I wanted it to be an integrated project: five daily programs over the 5 days of each session, intellectual and artistic seminars and workshops in photography, editing, graphics and acting. He has also published books, one of which is on the well-known director and author Sahib Hadad. However, due to “Corona” and the withdrawal of the funder, with 34 films and special documentaries with my colleague Azhar al-Sheikhli, selected for the festival, did not receive any funding.

What is the reason for your rush to break the taboo and host this festival despite the many comments raised about film festivals?

Part of my inspiration stems from my thinking about all things cinema. When I stop producing and directing, I think about writing, programming and performing. Many supported festivals lack support and ambition. So I thought of a festival that would be worthy of Baghdad and its people, and give them the opportunity to see films from outside the commercial setting they see. Images from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Despite the paucity of Arabic cinema publications, what about Sumer Film Magazine, which has two issues so far?

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There are fewer film writers, fewer people writing about this art. One of the festival’s goals was to publish a quarterly film magazine, so I decided to revive it by investing in my relationships with writers and film critics. The magazine is a voluntary, non-profit cultural project. I sent invitations to friends in many countries to write in it, and I chose email because it was easy and cheap to reach different places. Now the third issue is being prepared.

What are your upcoming projects? Do you have a plan to make a movie benefiting from your position at Ishtar Film Productions?

Sumer magazine has become an open project, and I have three scripts for films that I am looking for who will finance them: the first is about the poet Abdul Wahab al-Bayadi, but it is not related to his life and biography. In contrast to his poetic experience, the second is about Sayyid bin Jubair, and the third is about the 1951 emigration of Jews from Iraq and related events. As for Ishtar, it was sold and transformed into a successful television transmission and broadcasting company.

What do you see in the Iraqi cinema scene?

If the government does not support the establishment of a city for film production and infrastructure and media production, including theaters across Iraq, there will be no cinema, and films that are dependent on external funding are largely unrepresented. Iraqi civilizational identity, rather than the vision of its financiers. As a result, a young woman’s energies and abilities go the wrong way and become a line in foreign cinema production.

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Mazen Khaddaj: Dubai is an important place for artists



Mazen Khaddaj: Dubai is an important place for artists

Lebanese artist Masen Khataj described Dubai as an important station for creative people, pointing out the excellence the city has to offer in all aspects from art to culture, health services, tourism and expressed his happiness at his first exhibition in Dubai. Entitled “Finding Yourself,” it runs through October 10 at Urbanest Art Gallery.

In his paintings, Khadaj reflects his search for ego, especially after trying to overcome many crises and difficult times, colors were his means of translating subjective feelings. The works of the exhibition are divided into two groups: the first is called “Lost and Found”, in which the artist reveals moments of loss, leading the recipient to find himself with the second group, whose title is “Self”.

Psychological state

The paintings presented by Khataj reflect the psychological state he went through. His colors are very faithful to his feelings and the events of his life, so the viewer sees them as loss, broken states and rebuilding of self. His colors highlight the feelings he experienced when life took away many things, including his father and motherland, and how he worked to restore his conscience and self, so the paintings were a lifeline from all life situations.

Khadaj told Emirates Today about his first exhibition in Dubai: “I started painting these works in 2021 and they translate what I went through in 2020, when I went through a very general crisis in my life related to my nation, Lebanon. The Beirut port explosion, as well as the crises that affected my personal life, including the death of my father due to (corona) and my moving from one city to another in Germany.

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He added: “I lost many things and instead I gained other things, and I translated these feelings through colors. The level of loss I experienced made me discover a lot about myself, because loss makes a person search for courage and strength within himself.”


Kataj points out that he went through a period of depression, but this group was his savior, and therefore his colors have more strength. Also, the color group he works with is different as a result of his move to live in Germany. In this country it is very saturated with nature and different colored lights.

He points out that he tends towards spontaneity and spontaneity in artistic works as he gives them complete freedom to rely on talent and ideas.

Khataj, who works in the film production industry, explains, “His combination of music and film photography brings two people together in a special place.” Regarding the difference in his dealings with painting and pictorial performance, he added: “Photography allows me to address important issues like political topics and racism or other shocking ideas, but in photography the spontaneity is intentional, and it’s a two-dimensional painting.”

He found painting to be a different experience and often personal, so he did not ask questions while painting, but followed the color, and after experimenting with painting more than one work, the real idea might emerge. He confirmed that he worked with film programs on personal topics, including filming his father on his deathbed three hours before his death, and later making more than one film about his death and his relationship with his father.

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Between simplicity and depth

Khataj moves between simplicity and depth in the titles of his paintings, when he paints and gives them simple titles, it may seem to some that they belong to that simple style, but in reality they have real depth in their meaning. , emphasizing that the title does not always indicate whether the graphs presented are deep or not.

Regarding stability in art and its applicability, he believed that it was possible to accomplish stable installation works, while it was difficult to provide this in paintings.

He noted that his first exhibition in Dubai was a valuable opportunity for him as an artist, as the city has become an important station for artists and is distinguished by the presence of art, culture, health and tourism services and any presence. The fact that the creator shows his works there ensures the continuity of the art.

Masen Kataj:

• My first exhibition in Dubai was a prestigious opportunity… and having any artist in it ensures continuity.

• I tend to be spontaneous in artistic work as I trust talent and give it complete freedom.

good time

Mai Al-Haj, a curator at Emirates Al-Youm, told Emirates Al-Youm about his work at Mason Ghadaj’s exhibition: “I felt it was the right time for the artist to exhibit his work in Dubai, and I met him in Lebanon and coordinated with him. To present the exhibition. He added, “Everything presented in the exhibition was consistent, especially the collection of the last period, which reveals the changes that affected his colors, especially reflecting through them the self he discovered and discovered.”

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Al-Haj said, “Dubai plays a significant role in the global art market today because there are major venues for art fairs, including (Art Dubai) and (Dubai Design Week), all of which reflect the positive in the career of any artist who is here.”

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#Idra presents her pioneering cinematic endeavors at the #Saudi_Film_Forum



#Idra presents her pioneering cinematic endeavors at the #Saudi_Film_Forum

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (IDRA) is participating in the “Saudi Film Forum” organized by the Film Authority tomorrow in Riyadh, where the center will showcase its pioneering cinematic efforts in supporting the kingdom’s growing film industry. Funding for local filmmakers. In line with the global needs of the sector.

The participation forum includes a special stage that highlights the most important programs of the “ITRA” center in supporting the cinema industry, especially the “ITRA Film Program” which supports local filmmakers and gives them the opportunity to apply to tell the truth. Saudi stories. This is by producing films and getting co-financing opportunities.

The center will also organize a special workshop titled “Hajjan: The Story of Visual Effects” following the public success of “Hajjan” during the film’s world premiere at the recently held Toronto International Film Festival, adding importance to the workshop. They have been used in this film by Tariq Al-Khawaji, Cultural Adviser of the Idra Center, while participating in a dialogue session on the theme of challenges and opportunities in filmmaking in the region.

The Idra Center has produced more than 20 films and is keen to support Saudi filmmakers and move them internationally, while offering a number of initiatives and programs throughout the year that support the creative industries in the Kingdom. , including theatre, films and cinema, participates in many from local and international forums through international film festivals, and hosts the annual Saudi Film Festival in collaboration with the Cinema Society and with the support of the Ministry’s Film Commission. Culture.

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“Issa” Al-Masri has been shortlisted for the French “Cesar” awards



“Issa” Al-Masri has been shortlisted for the French “Cesar” awards

In Argentina… fear of random and dangerous plastic surgery

Cosmetic surgery is on the rise in Argentina, which is sometimes performed without any supervision, a reality highlighted by the recent death of an Argentine actress suspected of dying from side effects of this type of surgery.

Silvina Luna, who was 43 at the time of her death, appeared on the Argentine version of “Big Brother,” and the blonde, blue-eyed woman later launched a career that combined modeling and TV shows.

In 2011, Luna underwent surgery to increase the size of her buttocks, but she suffered from infections, complications, hypercalcemia, and kidney failure that left her hospitalized for weeks for a transplant, but she died at the end of August.

A woman held a picture of the late actress, model and TV presenter Silvina Luna during a demonstration outside the home of surgeon Anibal Ludogi, whose plastic surgery using methacrylate (AFP) killed at least two of his patients.

Her family’s lawyer, Fernando Borlando, said in early September, following an autopsy on her body: “No one can tolerate this amount of synthetic material in the body,” noting that he saw “how many solid materials appeared mixed in.” Human tissues were extracted from the body.”

Anibal Ludogi, the surgeon who operated on Luna, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2022, but was acquitted. He was banned from practicing his profession for five years after being accused of “malpractice” with four patients. Silvina.

After the death of the actress, other cases treated by Ludogi, who became famous as a “celebrity surgeon” 10 to 15 years ago, began to appear in public and were regularly hosted on television programs.

20 percent increase in 5 years

In August, former dancer Mariano Cabrarola died aged 49 of acute kidney failure and a heart attack. He, in turn, underwent surgery on his buttocks, which was performed by Ludogi, accusing the dancer of “injecting him to death.”

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Polymethyl methacrylate was found to be responsible for the deaths of two former small screen stars.

Although this expensive material is allowed in plastic surgery, it is recommended only in certain quantities (teeth or artificial joints). It is currently sold in Argentina.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, the Buenos Aires-based plastic surgeon, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had received previous patients who said Lodoki’s organs were “hard as stone, and the needle would break when injected.” in it.”

Silvina Luna’s case, which has sparked widespread sympathy in the country, has exposed some of the weakest aspects of the plastic surgery industry in Argentina, long considered the center of plastic surgery in Latin America along with Brazil and Colombia.

“There has been a 20 percent growth in plastic surgery in recent years,” pointed out Edgardo Beskert, president of the Plastic Surgery Society of Argentina.

One of the reasons for this high rate is the peso’s exchange rate against the dollar, which foreigners benefit from.

Biskert emphasized that the Covid-19 pandemic and social networks have “changed the equation”.

He added: “Many people spent their days in isolation, using the internet and looking at themselves in the mirror for long periods of time.”

He continued, “Social networks and phones that incorporate image-altering technology that can create face changes without undergoing surgery have created a huge desire among people to resemble altered images.”

Similarity to the “altered image”.

Maximiliano Gil Miranda, a surgeon who has been practicing the profession for 22 years, told Agence France-Presse that he has seen many patients show his picture and wish to resemble it. He had to patiently explain to them that this was not possible and that the “ideal” image was subject to change.

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He pointed out that after successful rhinoplasty patients are reassured that all is well, but taking a selfie in a certain way distorts the shape of the nose compared to a normal photo. He said: “Things have become difficult to control…”

The expert confirmed that prices in the field have fallen by making plastic surgery “accessible to all social classes”. On the other hand, “lower-paid physicians are more interested in learning this more lucrative specialty.”

Plastic radiologist Carolina Marilouis told the agency that improved techniques and products are becoming increasingly available, “encouraging many people who are not experts in the field to get into it, maybe train in it.”

It specializes in monitoring and evaluating potential complications of previous cosmetic surgery.

She said: “My schedule is busy and with the media covering cases of plastic surgery, people have become more aware of it and are demanding ultrasounds to detect the nature of the product. injected into their bodies.

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