Reel Festivals 2011
Reel Festivals 2011 was our most ambitious event yet, and aimed to host events in Syria, Lebanon and Scotland, focusing on cultural exchange and interaction. Unfortunately due to developing events in Syria we have had to postpone events there, but our thoughts are with the people there and we aim to return there when possible. Instead we had a focused programme of events in Lebanon and Scotland, both of which featured Syrian elements alongside Scottish and Lebanese films, music and poetry. Scottish band Shooglenifty came to Beirut for 4 days as part of Reel Festivals and performed alongside Lebanese musicians in Beirut’s legendary Music Hall on the weekend. Art music legend Bill Drummond worked alongside Lebanese graffiti artist Siska to spread Bill Drummond’s mantra “Imagine Waking up tomorrow and all Music had Disappeared”. Lebanese, Syrian and Scottish poets performed new translations of each others work to rapt audiences. As one audience member put it: “It fairly makes a difference when you know the poetry makes a difference.” In Lebanon Scottish film-makers had audiences spell bound, with the Wicker Man making Time Out Beirut’s Classic film of the month and Amy Hardie and Lou McLoughlan leading excellent Question and Answer sessions. Then in Scotland we were very proud to see packed audiences for our Syrian and Lebanese screenings, particularly those with directors present. Hady Zaccak from Lebanon presented A History Lesson and Syrian directors Reem Ali and Soudade Kaadan both screened their films to great success. Right now we need these sorts of interactions more than ever, and we’ll be uploading footage of some of these discussions on the site soon.
Now we’re looking forward to continuing the festival through the creation of new works, with a film currently being edited by Scottish Iranian Film maker and musician Roxana Vilk, DJ Dolphin Boy putting the finishing touches to some Syrian and Lebanese mixes and a forthcoming e-book of the poetry translations. We aim for these boundary crossing collaborations to continue and develop, there will be more!"
“a truly multicultural arts festival has arrived in town” – The Guardian