Saturday 13th April was a hectic day. It was bang in the middle of the Gulf Film Festival and we were invited to the Gulf Nights midnight session that is a GFF tradition! We were talking crowdfunding and Aflamnah of course!
But before that, we had also been invited to do our very first Pechakucha in Sharjah. If anyone reading this is not familiar with Pechakucha then the idea is to do a presentation of 20 slides and you only have 20 seconds for each slide - so we had 6 minutes and 40 seconds to present crowdfunding to Sharjah!! The setting was amazing - it was outdoors in the Maraya Art Park which in itself was an adventure in a beautiful setting - check it out here http://www.maraya.ae/artpark/! It was a great crowd but it was tough to be so restricted with timing.
We then quickly rushed across town to the neighbouring emirate Dubai and to GFF HQ at Festival City for our Gulf Nights session which was covered extensively in the media including this article which we liked: http://arabiangazette.com/crowdfunding-arab-world-20130412/. Great audience, fantastic questions and we made some new friends and grew the Aflamnah family a bit more.
GFF week offered some absolute brilliant films. Our personal favourite of the ones we saw was the short by Erfan Rachid, I Was There, In Baghdad (pictured below)- it explores the filmmaker’s grief for the Baghdad he knew told from an original perspective. If you get the chance to see it, take a box of tissues. but it’s a must see. For other gems from the Gulf, we recommend you read this Huffington Post article bu Nina Rothe (Aflamnah is mentioned by the way!) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/e-nina-rothe/ten-gems-from-the-gulf_b_3146463.html
We have so much more to share… and we will soon!
So to sum up the reason for the silence in the past few short weeks… we are sharing with you a few of the highlights of what’s been going on.
Firstly, we do have to mentioned that we have experienced two earthquakes in Dubai! We were at du HQ (from where we took this magnificent picture of Burj Al Arab and the coast of Dubai) when the first one happened. For the second one which was much stronger we were at home when glassware started clinking - on both occasions it took us a while to realize what was actually going on - about 10 seconds we think!
We mention the earthquakes because we have been doing our very own mover and shaker thang!
So here’s a brief of what we have been up to:
In March we went to Beirut for the Ayam Beirut Film Festival and Arabnet amongst other things! Zeina Sfeir of Ayam Beirut pictured here sitting on the steps of the venue.
April started off really busy with Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) where we introduced crowdfunding in a presentation we gave with Sohaib (Jinnrise Creator pictured below on the right) and Stefan (The Resurrection Lands creator pictured below on the left) and announced both projects will be crowdfunding on Aflamnah as part of MEFCC’s curated page. http://www.aflamnah.com/en/curator/mefcc/
We really enjoyed the chaos and excitement of the event and took lots of pictures which you can see on our Facebook page. Day 1 is here http://on.fb.me/12uUEhP and Day 2 here http://on.fb.me/119A1ou but in case you missed it here’s what Aflamnah’s booth looked like
And here are two of our favourite costume efforts:
Since then Jinnrise has launched its crowdfunding campaign http://www.aflamnah.com/en/jinnrise-the-arabic-edition/ and The Resurrection Lands are working on their campaign and will probably launch next week. Do support these great popular culture projects by very talented people!
To give you an idea, here’s some of the imagery associated with Jinrrise
and The Resurrection Lands
Phew! So much to share…
And we’ve had a few new projects and a high target of money that 51 want to raise. They are looking for $170,000 - yes that’s right ONE SEVENTY THOUSAND… ! Why? Well it’s a short movie that is going to star Navid Neghaban of Homeland fame. He plays Abu NAzir in the award-winning series and he is coming to the region and will be starring with some great local talent Mylene Gomera, Dana Hamdan and Rik Aby. There are some of the best rewards ever so check them out and be part of this great collaboration. Click here to see the project on Aflamnah http://www.aflamnah.com/en/51/ .
We will leave you with our favourtie picture of Navid and link to the project Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/51-the-movie/362646940506672?fref=ts Please like and share the FB page with your friends and every $10 goes a very long way. You can also check out the interview done on TV about the project. The bit about 51 starts at around 3 minutes and 50 seconds: http://vod.dmi.ae/media/227966/Studio_One_Season_3_EP_138
Thanks for reading this and we will be writing soon about our first PechaKucha in Sharjah and the Gulf Film Festival.
So it felt great, and we mean really great that we were nominated for the award last night.
As the nominees were named we even had time to snap a picture!
And we really did not expect to win.. competition was tough and we admire all of them.
We had butterflies and then as we heard what the judges had to say, smiles started to appear on our faces… but the rest is a bit of a blur so really glad we can share this picture to know what it looked like to everyone else!
Thanks for helping us make it. It is always nice to be recognized .. and we recognize fully that we could not have done this without a lot of support from all of you out there!
Award is dedicated to you all!
Have a very happy weekend..
Aflamnah has been nominated for the Digital Studio Awards in the Best Innovation of the Year category and we’re absolutely delighted!
The Aflamnah team is off to the awards event tonight in Dubai at The Westin Hotel and it would be lovely to win but we’re up against some stiff and worthy competition including OSN Play and Vizrt.
This got us thinking„, is it just as exciting or more exciting to win than to be nominated and how will we feel about walking away with or without the award? We can;t tell you the answer but check back tomorrow and we’ll give you a blow by blow account. Follow us on @Aflamnah tonight to find out if we win or not!
Good luck to all the nominees and congrats in advance to all the winners.. am sure they are all well deserved!
Amine (Younès Bouab) the hero of the latest Moroccan film by Nour Addine Al Khmari, set in what the director calls my “New York”. The cinematography has some DNA traces of Taxi Driver*, Serpico* and Silence of The Lambs*. Zero is dark. Zero is gritty. Zero is uncomfortably realistic. A dark film, the second of Nour Addine’s Casablanca trilogy (Mazlout or L’infortuné yet to be made), that some will hate and critically shred but others will embrace and defend. Zero takes you roaming the dark sinews of the city in search for middle aged men he manages to snare in the carnal pleasures of Mimi’s (Zineb Samara) honey trap; he takes you down into the bowels of a city populated with burned out and ashen faces, lives etched by the delicate hands of misery and hardship seeking solace in alcohol. It takes you to the seedy world of prostitution and human trafficking for the benefit of those who can afford it. Zero holds the mirror to the social ills that exist within the folds of any big and growing industrial city. This is Casablanca by night, a Casablanca that morphs into a vicious city that forms a stage for the prostitute, the homeless, the beggar and the corrupt. This is Addine Al Khmari’s city, framed by his camera and his point of view.
Zero goes under the skin of every Moroccan who will see it. Zero does not mince its words. The director has freed himself from the linguistic shackles imposed through years of conditioning. He is free to pick and choose from a verbal armada of swear words and rough and vulgar expressions that Moroccans are used to use only in the streets not homes and most of the time only among male friends. What is shocking is to see Amine’s accomplice (Zineb Samara) use street language at will. The linguistic coarseness is at the core of the cinematic experience envisaged by the director. It cements the story and makes it real and gritty. It is delivered in waves of anger; tidal tirades mirroring the Casablanca of the film: shadowy, corrupt, aggressive and angry. The razor blade sharpness and ferocity of the swear words and phrases are idiosyncratically Moroccan: their cultural subtleties may be lost on non-Moroccans. The force of these words spat by the foul-mouthed weed-smoker Amine’s invalid father (Mohamed Majd) will reverberate deep. Some will be shocked to hear and see an unusual father-son relationship punctuated by rare moments of care amid the constant abuse. Just like in Casanegra, street language has moved center stage.
Zero’s portrait of women is negative, mono dimensional and stereotypical most of the time. With the exception of Dr Kenza Amor (the bourgeois) and the mother looking for her lost teenager, all the women are prostitutes starting with Mimi. Even Amine’s mother, who we do not see in the movie, has not escaped this label. Mimi is “almost” being pimped by Amine, who uses her to snare middle-aged libidinous men looking for fresh young bodies, to blackmail and extortion money from. Their relationship is strictly business with a mix of undeclared affection for one another. The table turns on Amine with Dr Kenza Amor who used him for her pleasure when she was on the rebound. Is the Casablanca we see as exploited a city as its women in the film? Is it as barren as its prostitutes in the cheap bars often visited by Amine? Is it as morally corrupt and sleazy as its police system embodied by Zerouali and his gang? Is the opening scene a symbolic cleansing of the city?
By Lotfi Bencheikh
So, here we are, in month 7 of the Arab world’s crowdfunding creativity by buying rewards on Aflamnah.
We thought it was a good point in time to highlight our top SEVEN favourite rewards available on Aflamnah.com right now!
1. Currently available for $30, you can buy a personal horoscope related to the film project Burj Al Noon http://www.aflamnah.com/en/burj-al-noon/
2. $60 will buy you a walk on part in the film Atusa http://www.aflamnah.com/en/atusa1/ - We think that’s a bargain to see yourself on the big screen!
3. For $1000 you can have your company logo on the end credits of a movie - check out the project entitled The Word
4. Also offered by The Word team, for ONLY $150 you get a 10 hour course on film making, editing, color correction and more with a free download of the course itself.. that is $15 an hour…such a great deal - we might have to buy that reward
5. For $200, Araqeeb team are offering you a guided safari trip in the UAE with a visit to a farm and an Emarati meal prepared…http://www.aflamnah.com/en/araqeeb-aud-student-project/
6. $250 will buy you a singed script from Motel Fin De La Route and a thank you note from the cast and crew - and they do all look fabulous - check them out here http://www.aflamnah.com/en/motel-fin-de-la-route/
7. Where All Unite are obviously talented photographers if their movie poster is anything to go by and for $200 they are offering a photo shoot for 6 people!
Dare we say it is everybody’s responsibility to support creativity? Well, of course we would say that, wouldn’t we? And we would definitely encourage you as individuals to support our crowdfunding campaigns.
But it also gives us a huge amount of satisfaction when organisations, corporate institutions and educational establishments also take it upon themselves to endorse, support, foster, and get behind creative ideas.
This is why we are particularly delighted that the staff at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication at the American University in Dubai have encouraged their students to incorporate crowdfunding as part of their final projects. Not only that, they have also curated a page for their students which you can check out here:
A few days into their 60 day campaigns, check out their progress. Several projects are already more than half way to their funding target and the students have been really working their social media networks to promote their campaigns and secure the money they need to execute their projects.
Starting price to participate in the creation of culture is just $10 and you too will have fostered talented individuals and showed the support they need to go out into the big wide world and continue on their creative paths to success!
On the roof of the world, there is a wise old man who generates ideas and throws to the window just like a dandelion spreading itself thin. Unlike the dandelion, they are endless. These sewn ideas fly everywhere and land on everyone. They respect no colour, no creed, no gender and geography. This is what I read somewhere. Is this an attempt to explain that ideas are made somewhere unreachable and unattainable? Perhaps it is? But this is a mythical and a visual representation of the origin of ideas.
Ideas are born out of chaos, not a methodical and structured thinking process. They are the results of an electrical and physiological process happening inside the human brain when neurons get excited and started creating new connections and forge new pathways that can lead to somewhere or nowhere. They can lead to ideas or half ideas. If we look at the language we use to describe the process of coming up with a “bright” idea, the moment is fully “charged” with sparks of electricity: albeit invisible to the naked eye. Is this accidental or are we trying to frame an invisible process in flowery language to convey that idea? But what triggers this internal electronic storm inside one’s brain? “Brain storm”. Many things can do that. It can be a word, a colour shade, a shape, a song or a phrase or simply another idea. It can also be the result of a recent or old idea that you thought of, a thought you never finished processing. It can happen while awake or asleep.
I learned today that ideas need connections and need a fluid environment where they can be born. Just like babies they need their rich amniotic water to grow and thrive. I learned today that you can move from backing up a hard drive to portable drive to wireless to mobility to connections to app to exotic food to masala to kitchen to cooking for yourself to kitchen incubator to Masala social hub: a new concept and a new idea. We were three brains wired differently, thinking differently playing with a box of Lego in i360 PlatCamp.
Give it a try sometime. It’s fine, light-hearted and inspiring
The short answer is nobody really knows. The long answer is that the thought process, how your brain works, what connections you make, how your mind wanders, what leads to the other is all an individual and highly creative process.
If you are in search of a way to make those hard to come by light bulb moments more frequent then there are hundreds of self-help books you can buy and online resources you can turn to for ideas. However, you may also find that those books will lie unattended for years. From experience, the most inspiring thing we can recommend is an inspirational short and sweet workshop that will show you how to turn your brain on so that it generates ideas and thinks out of the box far more regularly and on demand.
There are tricks to streamlining your thought process and structuring wandering minds so that you can map your knowledge in a way where the patters of new ideas and the genius of innovation just shine through. Interested? Check this out – it’s happening on January 22nd from 10 am till 2.30 in Dubai. At a small fee, it could change the way you think! Try it out by registering online for the Innovation360 workshop http://i360playcamp.eventbrite.com/
Hi there, my friends!
I am very happy for your launch!
I would like to give you some tips about my 2 months-long experience with the Indiegogo campaign of my film “Two Meters of This Land”.
It is not easy - and it takes a lot of time - to arrive to potential funders, but Facebook is a very useful tool. You can search for thematic groups, friends of friends, your can see how they interact with certain kind of contents…
This is the proportion of people that donated to my project (and I think this gives you and idea of the proportion of time you should invest in):
Facebook: 75 %
Email: 10 %
Twitter: 10 %
Blogs y webs: 5 %
The most important is TO FIND the kind of public that could be interested on your project. I concentrated on Palestinian activism and the Palestinian community all over the world. Private messages is the most effective way of contacting. I explained the project and asked for spreading the word with their friends. Obviously, if the person I contact like the project, he will donate as he can.
It’s important to share contents about your film every day - not only the page of the campaign to be boring. Stills, texts related to your project may interest to a lot of people, give more information about the spirit of your project and arrive to more people. You can have a look about the kind of messages I shared about my film on my Facebook page (in December 2011 and January 2012).
Twitter is also effective for these kind of campaigns -it’s very fast-, but I didn’t use it a lot.
Best wishes! Salamat!
Two Meters of This Land
Let me tell you a secret. It’s something you’ve known all along. Perhaps you choose to ignore it, perhaps even pretend the opposite is true. But it’s there. And sooner or later you’ll have to face it.
But first, allow me to dispel your doubts: “Wait,” I hear you say. “How could he possibly claim to know anything about me when he doesn’t even know who I am?” The answer is I know who you are because I’m just like you.
I too have a good idea. I too have never cared much for money. I too have always thought that the only person I needed to rely on is myself. I too have always insisted that my good idea is its own reward. I too believed that if I build it, they will come. And I too was absolutely wrong.
Which brings me to my secret: to make your good idea a reality, you need people and you need money.
It’s as simple as that. Your heartfelt screenplay about under-privileged children in a quaint neighborhood in northern Iraq, that needs an audience, and it needs funds to develop, shoot, and edit. Your killer application that intelligently sorts your schedule and suggests time for work and play, that too needs beta-testers, and it needs fees to get it into the application market be it Google or Apple. And yes, that dream project you’ve tinkered with since you were 14, that too needs to be pulled out of the drawer and crowdfunded.
People and money, that’s exactly what crowdfunding is all about. It allows you to get real by rallying people around your good idea, having them talk about it, believe in it, love it as much as you do, and support it in the most real way possible.
That’s how I’ll be making my film too. Let’s get real. www.aflamnah.com
So about 10 weeks ago Amal Al Agroobi and Hana Makki launched their crowdfunding campaign on Aflamnah with an ambitious target of $60,000. Their mission is to raise the money to make their documentary, The Brain that Sings, will put six year old Khalifa and eighteen year old Mohammed, who are both autistic, through three months of music therapy to see if it has a positive impact on their lives and those of their families. Their video is moving, touches a nerve and we are proud to be associated with it. Watch it here: http://www.aflamnah.com/en/the-brain-that-sings/
Their aim is to raise awareness about autism, with a particular focus on the UAE, where resources, awareness, understanding and support are beginning to come together to make positive change. Amal and Hanna will accelerate that positive progress with their film.
There are just under two weeks to get involved with their mission, their enthusiasm and their film with some exciting rewards up for grabs too including executive and associate producer credits on the film.
The Brain that Sings is likely to make it into film festivals around the world and the plan is to use the film as a tool to raise awareness on the topic. (Note that Amal and Hana both had films in the Dubai http://dubaifilmfest.com/en/films/detail/half-emirati/20699/2012 and Abu Dhabi film festivals respectively http://www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae/en/program/inside-adff/2012/short-film-winners)
If you would like to pledge your support with as little as $10 or as much as $10,000, please http://www.aflamnah.com/en/the-brain-that-sings/ - there are only 13 days left!