Open City Documentary Festival, Industry Programme

As journalists and filmmakers scramble to find new fodder to pitch to commissioning editors, there's a risk of 'conflict and refugee fatigue' and the commodification of human experience. The war in Syria has contributed to a shake-up in Europe causing us to look at economic inequality, conflict, and migration through the filter of these new, incoming voices. By putting Syria and its refugees in the "old story" box, we diminish it's real effect on people's lives. By clamoring for the "new", we fetishise trauma. In the struggle to get stories noticed and covered, what are we excluding and how do we take responsibility for our roles?

Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round from Disobedient chair this discussion on Syrian refugee stories. Featuring journalists, documentarians and storytellers across visual and non-visual media, we'll debate story structures, editorial hierarchies and means of delivery. What happens when we are preoccupied with and fed certain types of visual image? What about non-visual storytelling? Who are the most appropriate people to tell these stories? How can we balance our creative drives and ambitions without causing more damage to people scarred by conflict? How does money and capital limit or dictate what's said and... who hears it?

Leah and Katharine will be joined by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Sean McAllister (The Liberace of Baghdad, Japan: A Story of Love and Hate, A Syrian Love Story), Ziad Kalthoum (Taste of Cement), May Abdalla (Anagram) and Hassan Akkad (Exodus: Our Journey to Europe).


New Methods // Old Stories - How are Filmmakers Covering the Crisis that Won't Go Away?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 11:15

Festival Hub: Bargehouse

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