Saturday, August 3, 2019

USTF Student Esraa Abo Oun Creates Film on Humanitarian Crises

              I believe in the power of the media as a tool of communication. As a filmmaker, I believe in having a purpose in the stories I tell. Having the skill to use the film medium, I feel an obligation to tell stories of people’s sufferings. My work aims to raise awareness about humanitarian crises, clear misconceptions, and create empathy in the world. My project is a short narrative film called ​Jihad​, which addresses the Syrian Crisis and shines light on the struggles of civilians affected by the war. My goal in this film is to allow audiences a window into the experience of a Syrian family as they strive to maintain a sense of normalcy in the midst of war. This specific film is inspired firstly by real events experienced by some of my family members in Syria. It is also inspired by The White Helmets documentary as well as stories and videos posted by civilians and activists in Syria. This short film is my capstone project and will be my ticket into the film industry as I graduate. I am hoping to screen the film at different film festivals where I can share the story and network with other filmmakers.
             Throughout the semester, I made sure that I communicated well with my team as we prepared for the production of the film. On a weekly basis during the post-production stage, I would make sure to contact my editor to send me a copy of the edit so far. I would also meet with my mentor and get his feedback on the cuts. Every week, I make sure we create something new to be part of our distribution package; a website, a social media page, a movie poster, and a movie trailer. Working on this project has been a great learning experience. I have learned the importance of research in creative projects as it is essential to help create similitude between the film and the real life events. I am hoping that the story will help raise awareness about the sufferings of the Syrian people and be a motivation for action.