Lights, Camera, Action! At Al-Bustan’s Camp

Campers filming their mock news broadcast.

“Filmmaking is the act of tying images and sounds to produce meaning,” says Nadia Awad, Al-Bustan’s video instructor. At camp, the teen campers are working on understanding fully what goes into that process. Initially, they learned about Egyptian film production and compared film production in the Global North versus the Global South. Nadia informed the campers that Egypt had a role in film history since the beginning despite common belief that film began in Hollywood. In reality, India and Egypt had one of the earliest film industries and currently, Egypt has the largest film industry in the Arab world. The teens watched several film clips about Umm Kulthum and interviews with her. Umm Kulthum appeared in the first featured length Egyptian film in 1936. She became a cultural diplomat, through her music and her cinema work.  Nadia then led a discussion about Umm Kulthum’s historical significance from a film history point of view; she also had the teens learning about media criticism.

Originally, Nadia had planned for a documentary production related course; however, since day one, it was evident that the campers were interested in a narrative style of production and comedy. So she had them do some research Nadia guided the students, enlightening them about an existing show similar to their vision. Bassem Youssef is the host of El Bernameg (“The Program”), a satirical news program broadcast in Egypt. While working on this project, the campers learned about the historical significance of Egyptian media, its role in creating a new image of Egypt, and current events. The teens are filming, editing, and producing a mock news broadcast including interviews with a protester, an average American, and a correspondent ‘based in Egypt.’ They are incorporating their understanding of this knowledge and their own understanding of stereotypes in making their video production. Also, during production of their video, the teen campers are acquiring technical skills such as camera positioning and lighting.
Teens working on their final edits before tomorrow’s premiere!




Don’t miss their video premiere this Friday, July 12, 2013: 6-7:30pm!

Zeanah Rumman-Obeid, Drexel student interning at Al-Bustan.

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