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In a Shattered Region from Emerging Economies to War Torn Areas, the Arab World Offers a New Language: Cinema by Aya Al Blouchi, Qatari producer, Founder Seat 26 This article by Aya Al Blouchi follows a presentation in which SVIR explored different approaches to social values across the world. As part of this case study approach, SVIR highlighted Aya s work to promote awareness of Arab cinema. Seat 26 was founded by Aya Al Blouchi and is an aspirational lm production company established in Lebanon. Seat 26 s focus is upon increasing the craft of lm as a medium for telling stories within society. This will be achieved by helping young students achieve their ambition of entering the world of lm making. These are students making their rst or second lm, and Seat 26 invests in them by producing both ction and documentary lms. To enhance its educational and cultural role, Seat 26 will also be involved in delivering sector speci c workshops with an emphasis on script writing and editing. Seat 26 has ambitious plans to become involved with co-production projects across the globe as well as those based locally and regionally.


As an investor, Blouchi helped executive-produce the following shorts: 'Soldier 888' by Bachir Abou Zeid; 'Desire' by Hala Matar and 'Batikh ya Watan' by Amir Fakih. Her feature repertoire includes a coproduction on 'Single, Married, Divorced' by Elie Khalife and an Executive-producer/ Producer title on 'Mafkoud' by Bachir Abou Zeid.

y journey with cinema started when I was 5 years

Nowadays, the Arab lms we see across festivals and theatres

old. I visited my rst lm rental shop and picked

strongly focus on social life and values (Wadjda by Haifa Al

up a VHS for Stephen Spielberg s masterpiece

Mansour). Most lms are based on true stories and facts, or

E.T.. As a family, lms would bring us together to share quality

are inspired by them. That is mostly the case for Palestinian

time moments at theatres or at home. My Dad, an avid lm

(Ajami by Scandar Copti) and North African cinema and

collector, shared his passion of lms with me. So that I could

Middle-Eastern lms (Theeb by Naji Abu Nowar). There it has

share my interest with him and continue his legacy, I decided

become a language used to express the art of visual

to start investing in lms from our region and to contribute to

communication, but also to showcase our frustrations,

an industry that still needs to grow, have more structure and

disappointments, pains, dreams, and aspirations.

pave the way for increased original content. Films have the power to share lessons, introduce us to new Our region is not in its best shape. Cinema has become a means of communication allowing lmmakers to talk about what is happening around them. A large number of independent Arab lms tell the tales and

cultures, and take us on a journey around the world to learn more about others. As much as this industry has focused on cinema as an entertainment tool, we forget that lm goes beyond entertainment. It inspires us and changes the way we

stories of our past, our countries and our social values. This is

look at things. We can identify with plots, or characters or

so that in the future, when everything will either be gone or

certain events that might or might not have previously

things would have changed, some sort of trace will be left.

affected us.

This may be of a Palestinian village, of a Syrian refugee, a building or landmarks in old Beirut, or little towns in Egypt,

Ashraf Hamdi said that

lms are time machines , and I

even maybe the journey of pearl diving. Working closely with

couldn t agree more with him. We move forward with the

lmmakers allows for the exposure of stories like Soldier

hope of seeing new emerging stories that go beyond our

888 by Bachir Abou Zeid who highlights the consequences

current war torn situation, and towards showcasing the

of war on the human psyche.

diversity of genres in storytelling.


November 2015

Social Value and Intangibles Review - November 2015  

NOVEMBER 2015: Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance journal on Social Innovation and Social Impact Analysis SUPPLEMENTS: EU Sei...

Social Value and Intangibles Review - November 2015  

NOVEMBER 2015: Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance journal on Social Innovation and Social Impact Analysis SUPPLEMENTS: EU Sei...