Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Colours of Exile

Another non-UFO documentary has just gotten the greenlight for us. This time, it's a film by my friend Tarek "J-Rod" Abouamin (that's him in the center in the photo at left, with yours truly and our colleague, producer / director John "Roswell" Rosborough), who I think is the best young filmmaker in Halifax today. He worked with me on both seasons of The Classical Now as a camera operator, and was the Director of Photography for my documentaries Do You Believe in Majic and Aztec: 1948, and my indie feature film MacBeth (still in post-production).

CBC Maritimes has just agreed to license his film proposal, The Colours of Exile, which he'll be writing and directing, and I'll be producing. It will tell the story of Palestinian artist Amin Shammout. Tarek and I have been working, on and off, for three years now to get this project off the ground. When we received the news from CBC Maritimes, it was one of those "it's all paid off" kind of moments.

This is an intensely personal film for Tarek, who has remained true to his vision of what the film should be about from the beginning, even though it might have been an easier concept to get picked up if it had been a little less challenging. But that's Tarek - 100% integrity as a filmmaker, and a storyteller. Kudos to Ron Crocker and Mary-Elizabeth Luka at CBC Maritimes for supporting Tarek's vision.

Here is Tarek's short synopsis of the film:

"Through the brush strokes of hope and memory, the story of the refugee is narrated through the colours and canvasses of one Canadian / Palestinian whose work represents the collective dreams of his people. For nearly sixty years, the Palestinian people, expelled from their homeland, scattered around the world, and caught in the midst of a bloody conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, have struggled to find a voice. Amin Shammout's art not only documents the plight of his people, but also speaks for the families of those lost on both sides of this conflict, and who pray for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine."

I'm looking forward to helping Tarek make what I think will be a breakthrough film for him, and in the process tell this very important story.

Paul Kimball

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