Learning Behind the Scenes

DSCF4867The lights go out, the popcorn starts crunching, and the silence descends, this is a description we are all too familiar with. Going to the movies! But we often overlook the time and effort it took and the people involved in making the movie, rather than just the pretty faces we see on the silver screen. This year’s Bringing Identity to Film workshop wanted to educate students on the creative processes behind making a movie. We had a chat with the workshop presenters, Amal Al-Muftah and Farah Mahfouz. Muftah has had lots of experience with film, her short documentary Split Seconds can be found online and has been nominated for various awards during the prestigious NorthWestern Film Festival, “Film is important to me because I have found that it is the better way for me to express myself. It gives me the freedom to express how I feel through both vision and dialog. It is a different way of expression.” Her accomplice, Farah Mahfouz is also a film enthusiast, she is involved with the Northwestern Film Festival Executive team and has discovered a passion within this medium, “We are visual learners, watching a movie can greatly impact us because we can actually watch what the person is going through. Their struggles, body language, facial expression help us understand and connect to the issue.”

Their workshop aimed to educate students on the process of filmmaking, specifically documentaries, “Sound, editing, cinematography, and storyline all play an important role within the creation of an effective movie. And if these elements are not perfected or at least good enough to capture the audience, then the film won’t have the same impact the filmmaker would want.” With the upcoming film festival, Muftah and Mahfouz wanted to arouse the interests of as many students as possible to apply for the festival as filmmakers. This experience offers for students to be recognized as distinguished filmmakers. Muftah also wished to share the process of artistic expression and issues alike through film, “Film is a very popular medium which reaches all types of audiences. When executed correctly we have the ability to alter people’s perspectives and spread a message based on our portrayal of it through cinematic elements as simple as costume or as complicated as editing.”

Express your own views across the silver screen and sign up for the Northwestern Film Festival this year, an experience worth working for.


By: Sarra Hamid