As If We Were Catching a Cobra

Hala Alabdalla, United Arab Emirates / Syria / France, 2012, color, HDcam, 122'
Synopsis

Inspired by events surrounding the Danish Mohammed cartoons, Syrian filmmaker Hala Alabdalla interviews political cartoonists in Egypt and Syria about the tension caused by their work. What starts as a documentary about cartoons in the Middle East takes another turn when the Arab Spring arrives in both countries. From her studio in Paris, Alabdalla makes additional comments on the events in voice-over. The cartoonists talk at length about the tradition of political illustrations, their battle with censorship and their struggles to keep irony and rebellion alive under authoritarian regimes. After the protests, the director gets in touch with them again, asking them in what way the revolution has influenced their lives and work. Some of them actively participated in the protests and didn't come away unscathed. They reflect on their fears, the dangers of the uprising and the euphoria that came with the sudden freedom of expression. The interviews are combined with personal scenes of Alabdalla as she follows the revolution through social media, on her computer screen back in Paris.

IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA to present themed program on The Female Gaze September 9, 2014 | During the upcoming festival, IDFA will present a themed program on the role of women in documentary called The Female Gaze. Fifteen leading international female directors, including Pirjo Honkasalo, Barbara Kopple and Kim Longinotto, have put together a program of old and new documentaries by themselves and other female directors.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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The Kids & Docs workshop started this morning! Participants will develop a plan for a short kid' doc. @Mediafonds http://t.co/jcfpXsb3kq
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IDFA's festival heart will move from the Rembrandt square to the Amstel river for the 2014 edition: http://t.co/1B03PNxxs5
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