Middle East


PERSEVERANCE presents three true stories of individuals who withstood the odds and pursued passionately.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

12pm - 2pm

Register for free tickets

Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Each film will be introduced by its director. Sessions will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers.

The Runner (reportage)

Image copyright The Runner
Image caption The Runner

Celebrating victory in an international race, Libyan runner Tari Al-Shibli revealed a tattoo showing the flag of independence. In this film, he describes the consequences he faced on returning to Gadhafi's Libya.

Directed by Mohannad Eissa, Mohannad Eissa is an emerging filmmaker based in Tripoli, Libya. The Runner is his first short documentary, made during a creative workshop organised by the British Council and Scottish Documentary Institute, in partnership with Tripoli School of Art.

Blue (short documentary)

Image copyright Blue
Image caption Blue

"Since I fled the Yarmouk Refugee Camp and came to Beirut, I have had a recurring dream. The dream takes me back to besieged Yarmouk, where death and destruction have settled in all its details. My memory retains images of the place and it is difficult for me to abandon it. Maybe the sound of my friend Ayham's piano changed the nightmare into dream and the place into a legend." - director, Abo Gabi

This unique story of Ayham, a pianist playing his music amidst the wreckage of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, is narrated by the director, Abo Gabi. A musician himself, Abo Gabi fled Yarmouk and now tells this story by way of his dreams and memories, fears and hopes. Though surrounded by rubble, his poetic storytelling takes audiences out of devastated Yarmouk, and into a place where strength, respect and semblances of normality persist.

Directed by Abo Gabi, Abo Gabi is a Syrian-Palestinian writer, musician and singer. He is co-founder of Reaction: the Palestinian Creative Collective in Yarmouk Camp, Damascus. With the collective, he directed a number short films and theatre pieces. Abo Gabi has also composed original musical scores for films and theatre. He has worked on a numerous collaborative projects with musicians from around the world. He launched his latest album, Hijaz Harb, in November 2014.

The Immortal Sergeant (feature documentary)

Image copyright The Immortal Sergeant
Image caption The Immortal Sergeant

After the Syrian revolution, Ziad Kalthoum served as a reservist whilst also working as assistant to the acclaimed Syrian film director Mohammed Malas. The Immortal Sergeant follows Ziad through a typical day in 2012, giving us a glimpse of his fellow Syrians as they struggle with their grief and trauma whilst attempting to continue with their ordinary lives. The Immortal Sergeant, borne out of his experience working on Ladder to Damascus, has screened at numerous festivals and was awarded a prize at the Locarno Film Festival.

Directed by Ziad Kalthoum, Ziad Kalthoum is a soldier in the morning and a filmmaker for the rest of the day. He was born in Homs, Syria in 1981. Before making feature documentaries, he worked as assistant director on several films, series and TV programmes. His first documentary Aydil (Oh, My Heart) (2012) was selected for the Carthage Film Festival.