Just realized today that these two articles ran in last Thursday’s Daily Star Egypt (I somehow missed them in the print edition).
One is a profile of yours truly by Farah Al Alfy, one of the students in my graduate documentary course. She outed me as “one of those people who express a story using his whole body.” A very apt description, and the man I see in the mirror each morning would concur.
The second is a review of the documentary films we screened on June 3rd. The critic, Joseph Fahim, had high praise for a few of the films (which was well deserved) but, being a critic, he felt he had to single out a few for scorn.
I do agree, as Fahim notes at the end of his review, that at his best a documentary filmmaker finds an “aptitude to transcend the constraints and principles of his medium to produce a story that aims to completely absorb or change the life of its viewers.” But I find that quality in only a small percentage of the documentaries I view every year (and, to be completely honest, only a percentage of the ones I’ve produced), yet even films that are not as transcendent as others can still inform and inspire.
I got the impression near the end of the review that he forgot he was viewing the work of students and first-time filmmakers, and had set the bar a little high.
I have no doubt the audience in attendance that night had their expectations more than exceeded.
And I’m proud of every frame on screen that night.