Studio 2: Stranger…… more


Documentary filmmaking maybe no different than any other format of the medium when it comes to the use of images and sounds; but it is unique in that because it involves the depiction of events and characters as realistically as possible. And in an effort to understand this basic principle, we were tasked to, as individuals, strike up a conversation with any random passerby, but not to simply gather facts in clinical fashion, but rather to inquire into the life and personality of the person–their quirks, predilections, the moral or emotional leanings, and also a photograph to boot. In essence, we were expected to build a relationship with them, and it is in this pursuit that I had the pleasure of meeting with Kenza. In her mid 20’s and working as a marketing coordinator, she found it a bit odd when I first approached her for a chat during her lunch break. But as I began to open up and give her more information about myself, she grew more at ease, and reciprocated with details of her own life. Upon revealing that I was pursing my Bachelor’s in Film, she said that before taking up her current job she had studied marketing from the university right next to mine, and that we had quite a few acquaintances in common, not to mention the many peeves of the campus often indulging in a few inside jokes. My studying filmmaking piqued her curiosity, as her home country of Morocco, has quite a storied history in cinema she exclaimed. Being a cine-file myself, I asked her to list some her favorite films, but to my embarrassment, and her amusement, her choices, although sounded familiar, were all mostly alien to me. We proceeded to discus the general state of affairs of the film industry in the UAE; and when we both agreed that the region was successful in building and providing infrastructure and has in effect attracted the occasional big-budgeted project from oversees, it is still considered to be only a growing film market. Kenza offered the example of Morocco as a counterpoint where, although it does not boast the most technological advanced facilities, it has always been the popular choice for filmmakers from oversees, something she believes is because cinema has been instilled into their culture and has become a part of their society, and is what is lacking in the UAE and is something that she believed needed to be developed in the future. On another note, I asked her on a whim, if she would like to act in one of my films, to which to exulted a keen interest for the same. Although she studied marketing in hopes of securing a stable career and steady source of income, acting is something she was always drawn towards, again owing to her upbringing in Morocco and their relationship with cinema. We exchanged contacts, and when she was willing to let me take a picture of her, she to my surprise, insisted that I take one from her own collection, perhaps thinking I wouldn’t be getting her best angles. It was only as we parted ways did I realize that what began as a simple university assignment, grew into something more meaningful like an inexplicable bond, and it left me thinking of all the other bonds I’ve forgone in the past but also of all the new ones I could forge, by simply taking that first step.


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