Yasmine Al Sayyid says...
I would like to start by thanking Mr. Matthew Marshall, Mr. Don Hickey and the iFilmGroup for the wonderful opportunity to work with them and to be mentored in their "Accredited Mentoring Program". The vast film knowledge that these two individuals have is a true resource to those looking to break into the film industry as well as those that are looking to advance themselves.
To see the many people that they have had an effect on and helped them learn film on the website is something that has to be seen. I feel very privileged and honoured to have been mentored in Film Direction by the award-winning film director Mr. Matthew Marshall and the iFilmGroup organization. This was a very special opportunity to work with such a fine organization that is so willing to help those looking to gain valuable experience in film making.
Through the mentoring by Mr. Marshall, I have learned the art of directing a film and the many aspects from pre-production through production and into post-production. I have always wanted to direct a film, and now I see that being a film director has a huge burden and responsibility. As much as the role seems overwhelming, I now more than ever, want to direct a film.
I grew up in the Middle East and would have never imagined the opportunities that I am embarking on now to be on the verge of directing a film, - a long a film about my culture and background. I grew up with an ability to tell stories and see them in my mind since I was 9 yrs old. But because I was a girl many thought that making films was a crazy dream. Gender inequality is still a major issue in the global film industry. However, film making is a growing industry for women from the Middle East. We (Women) have been silenced in my homeland for so long, that it’s amazing to have films in which we can make and see.
I look up to Saudi Arabian film director Haifaa al-Mansour who is one of the country's best-known and most controversial directors, and the first female Saudi filmmaker. American-Egyptian Jehane Noujaim’s film the "Square" earning her an Oscar nomination. These are women that I strive to be like and hope that I grow to fill the shoes of being a Middle Eastern female Film Maker. The Arab world needs to see their own stories on screen. It’s all very well making films about beautiful people who live far away, but to be able to see a film about your own life, and the kind of people you know and hear your own accent, it’s equally important. It tells you your life is worthy too, your small stories count, your life counts.
Cinema is not something for people in other places. It is to be lived and experienced in the places that we each come from by telling the stories that we are all familiar with. I am again thankful for the training I have received and for the mentoring through iFilmGroup. I intend to take all that I have learned and continue to advance my craft or film making and learn about all aspects of filmmaking and perfect my skills as a filmmaker. I now look forward to my journey making films.
Yasmine Al Sayyid