We all have lives. We all have stories. We all have phones.
Six directors from six different countries in the MENA Region discuss the project.
Right now, 12 women from Jordan, Oman, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon have started recording films about their own lives for the very first time. The project aims to create a new authentic aesthetic with a new perspective - and a new user-driven way of producing personal documentaries that brings the viewer closer to real life than ever before. These films are going to constitute the first stage of a proliferation of self-directed films that presents the real lives of women all over the world.
The women have been chosen because of their impactful stories and their diverse life experiences. Their films will represent themselves and their lives. Together, the films will offer a wide range of important as well as personal testimonies from the region, sharing their way of seeing their environment through an intended low-tech expression.
With their smartphones, these first-time filmmakers document their individual experiences and reflections to present their realities to the world in a new light. The short personal documentaries will give the women an opportunity to show their world, their lives, and their attitude towards their surroundings completely uncensored.
In public discourse, many perceptions and opinions exist on what certain people are and are not able to do. In this project, women from Arab countries get to tell their own version of what they deal with in their everyday lives - and what they hope to change in future on their own terms!
The first-time filmmakers have been taught to express themselves visually through film on a need-to-know basis by six female professional filmmakers from the MENA region, who C:NTACT and the local partner MA3MAL 612 have worked with to create a method of self-expression through film. The directors and the first-time filmmakers thus enter in a unique symbiosis, where they together create a completely new genre, distanced from classic documentary and closer to personal storytelling aesthetic.
Through this user-driven aesthetic, the project aims to dissolve prejudices on a global scale. We hope that women all over the world can mirror themselves in the personal representations of the first-time filmmakers, renegotiate their prejudices - and even become inspired to tell their own stories using their own phones. In this way, the project aspires to popularise and democratise this method of filmmaking and use it as a catalyser of visualised personal storytelling of people all over the world.
The films will be screened in all the participating countries. The screenings of the films are free of charge and will be shown in different communities and societies as well as theatres and cinemas.
The project is funded by the Danish Centre for Gender, Equality and Diversity, KVINFO.