Making films in tough times

What is the relationship between documentation, aesthetic research and political report? How can you manage your position when you are at the same time a director, a political refugee, a friend and life partner of the protagonists of your work? In connection with these questions, Ziad Kalthoum, a director of Syrian origin, will discuss with students and passionate, reconstructing a complex path that led him to tell the story of his native land from an inside and outside point of view, following the daily life of soldiers of the army as that of workers who emigrated to Lebanon. His films was shown and awarded at the most important international festivals (Locarno Film Festival, Visions du Reel, IDFA).

Ziad Kalthoum was born in Homs in 1981 and holds a degree in film studies, currently living in Berlin. In first documentary OH MY HEART (2009) he portrayed a group of Kurdish women, who have chosen to live in a society without men. The film was banned from screening in Syria due to political reasons. In 2012, during the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, he began working on his first feature film THE IMMORTAL SEARGANT while serving a compulsory military service. The film had its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014. In 2015, he won the BBC Arabic Festival in the ‘Best Feature Documentary’ category. Refusing to fight his own people, he deserted from the Syrian Army in 2013 and fled to Beirut where he started to work on TASTE OF CEMENT. The film has been traveling to festivals around the world and has won various awards, among them the Golden Sesterce for Best Feature Documentary at Visions du Réel in 2017.

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