Directed by Nitin Sawhney and Roger Hill
Flying Paper is the uplifting story of Palestinian children in Gaza on a quest to shatter the Guinness World Record for the most kites ever flown. It showcases the creative resilience of these children making and flying kites despite the difficult realities they face in their daily lives. The film has been co-produced with young Palestinians in Gaza trained by the filmmakers through a youth media program called Voices Beyond Walls. Through the perspective of children and young people comes a story of determination and artistic expression as the youth in the film work together to achieve a shared goal.
While the record-breaking event is what drives the film’s narrative arc, it is the everyday stories of the young kite makers that will touch audiences through their humor and playful spirit. The film seeks to humanize the conflict through a touching cinematic rendering of the fascinating kite culture among children as a form of creative resistance in Gaza.
We aim to make an enjoyable Narrative Documentary that is inspiring and focuses on the achievements of youth in Gaza who endure hardships, but are resilient in their efforts to represent themselves and their culture with pride and grace.
In Person: Co-Director Roger Hill to attend.
Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the New School. His research, teaching and creative practice engages the critical role of technology, civic media, and artistic interventions in contested spaces. He examines social movements and crisis contexts, though forms of creative urban tactics, participatory research, performance and documentary film. Since 2006, Nitin co-founded a nonprofit initiative Voices Beyond Walls to conduct digital video and storytelling workshops with youth in Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza. Nitin recently began a participatory media project, Zona Intervenida, focusing on genocide, memory and body through site-specific performance interventions in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Roger Hill founded the Documentary Production Collective MentalRev Productions (www.mentalrev.com). Hill directed MentalRev’s first feature length documentary Struggle: a film on voter suppression and election rigging in US Presidential Elections. Struggle was chosen by Link TV as their featured documentary in the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election. Roger and MentalRev Productions have produced a number of short films, several of which have aired at film festivals around the world. Hill has toured with his films in cities across the United States and worked as a trainer with the Voices Beyond Walls participatory media program in Gaza during the summer of 2010.
Producer: Paul Lee
Screenwriter: Nitin Sawhney, Roger Hill
Cinematographer: Nitin Sawhney, Roger Hill, Anne Paq
Editor: Rafael Parra, Ahmed Eladb, Roger Hill
Music: Nitin Sawhney
Matthew VanDyke / Cinema of Conscience, Documentary, International, Shorts / USA / 2013 / Biography, MIddle East, Social Issues, Women / 15 minsA short documentary about the Syrian struggle for freedom as experienced by a 32 year old rebel commander, Mowya, and a 24 year old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. The film clearly and concisely tells why Syrians are fighting for their freedom, told through the emotional words of two powerful characters whose lives have been torn apart by war.
Preceded by: Refuge
Precedes: Flying Paper
Michelle Steffes / Cinema of Conscience, International, Shorts / USA / 2012 / History, MIddle East, Social Issues, Woman Filmmaker / 14 minsSet in present-day Iraq, Refuge tells the story of Nabil, who moves to Baghdad with his two young sons after the kidnapping and murder of his wife Mariam. When Nabil sees a new arrival in the neighborhood he thinks he recognizes the stranger as the man who killed his wife. If he is correct, and the man is in fact the killer, Nabil must decide whether to honor his wife by avenging her death or by remembering the heart of her beliefs which would allow for redemption.