American moviemakers share skills with SHCT students

7 years

Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology Applied Communications students were treated to a practical workshop following a special screening of the American Documentary Film Louder Than a Bomb.

The students discussed film editing and producing with American film experts John Farbrother, editor of Louder Than a Bomb and Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, a New York based independent film producer.

Discussion topics thread around documentary filmmaking, shooting and editing techniques, story choice, and ethical considerations. The cineastes gave the students many tips on how to deal with problems and challenges that may arise during the filmmaking process.

Both guests expressed their admiration for the students’ curiosity and cleverness, hoping that some great filmmakers will come out of the UAE.

The Sharjah event was offered in collaboration with Dubai International Film Festival and the American Cultural Center.

John Farbrother has worked as a film and TV editor for nearly 10 years, during which time he has made a number of award-winning documentaries.

Blake Ashman-Kipervaser is an independent film producer based in New York City. His focus is on creating ambitious, thought-provoking, independent feature films and documentaries.

A poster for the documentary Louder than a Bomb

The documentary Louder Than a Bomb, directed by Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel, is a film about passion, competition, teamwork, and trust. It’s about the joy of being young, and the pain of growing up. It’s about speaking out, making noise, and finding your voice. It also happens to be about poetry. Every year, more than six hundred teenagers from over sixty Chicago area schools gather for the world’s largest youth poetry slam, a competition known as “Louder Than a Bomb”. Founded in 2001, Louder Than a Bomb is the only event of its kind in the country—a youth poetry slam built from the beginning around teams.

The structure of Louder Than a Bomb demands that kids work collaboratively with their peers, presenting, critiquing, and rewriting their pieces. To succeed, teams have to create an environment of mutual trust and support. For many kids, being a part of such an environment—in an academic context—is life-changing. The documentary chronicles the stereotype-confounding stories of four teams as they prepare for and compete in the 2008 event. The film captures the tempestuous lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. This is not “high school poetry” as we often think of it. This is language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance. How and why they do it—and the community they create along the way—is the story at the heart of this inspiring film.

Its film awards include the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival Audience Choice Award, 2010 Chicago International Film Festival Audience Jury Prize, 2010 Cleveland International Film Festival Audience Choice Award winner, Austin Film Festival Best Documentary Feature, and 2010 Philadelphia Film Festival Audience Award.