LISTEN - 25 NOVEMBER 2019 - BY FREE THE WORK
DIRECTOR WAAD AL-KATEAB ON SYRIA AND HER JOURNEY TO "FOR SAMA"
On this episode of the FREE THE WORK podcast, journalist Dana Ballout and filmmaker Waad al-Kateab have a moving conversation about the Syrian refugee crisis and motherhood in the midst of war.
For Sama is the first film to document the Syrian conflict from the perspective of a woman.
Behind the film as a director and as the film's subject is Waad al-Kateab. Waad is a Syrian filmmaker who has won Emmys for her coverage of the Syrian war from her home of the rebel-held town of Aleppo. For Sama, which won the Best Documentary at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is a compilation of five years worth of recordings that document her journey with starting a family.
In this episode of the FTW podcast, Dana Ballout interviews Waad about For Sama and how Waad's life has changed since the completion of the film. Dana is a journalist who spent years covering the Syrian war and the refugee crisis for The Wall Street Journal. With their close personal connections to Syria, Dana and Waad's conversation become a special exploration of the crisis in the country, what it's like to be a woman in the midst of the violence, and how the film can help shed a new light on the refugee crisis.
You can now watch the film in its entirety on FRONTLINE PBS.
Listen in to the podcast by hitting the Play button above, or by clicking on this Soundcloud link!
Production Sound & Editor: Jasmine Chen
Waad al-Kateab was a marketing student at the University of Aleppo when protests against the Assad regime swept the country in 2011. Like many hundreds of her fellow Syrians, she became a citizen journalist determined to document the horrors of the war. She stayed through the devastating siege — documenting the terrible loss of life and producing some of the most memorable images of the six-year conflict. Reports she made for Channel 4 News on the conflict became the most watched pieces on the UK news program. They received almost half a billion views online and won 24 awards — including the 2016 International Emmy for breaking news coverage. When she and her family were evacuated from Aleppo in December 2016 she managed to get all her footage out, and created the documentary For Sama (Mountainfilm 2019) to tell her own story.
Dana is a Lebanese-American documentary producer and podcaster based between the US and Lebanon. She's currently a producer for Muck Media, an LA-based award winning production company that specializes in investigative documentaries and character-driven series. Dana is also a producer and editor on Kerning Cultures, a podcast dissecting the complex narratives around the Middle East.
Before moving into documentary, Dana was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering the Syrian war and its resulting refugee crisis. Over the last decade she has worked with organizations that range from the United Nations Development Program, Al Jazeera English and America, Netflix, National Geographic and others.
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