Sept. 8th – Oct. 11th 2016 

Main Language of instruction: English (Instructor is fluent in French and Arabic as well)

“Having developed a special screenwriting instructional method, I am eager to work with students and professionals interested in screenwriting, and guide them to finding their own personal well of stories. This initial workshop is tailored to beginners in the field.

The workshop is structured around written exercises, based on objects, text, poetry, music, photographs, and paintings which open up visual and emotional memory, stimulate the imagination and  enable the writer to narrate in an audio-visual language.

Each class session will focus on developing the various structural tools which the screenwriter needs in order to write stimulating and captivating stories, through a short lecture, a small selection of short films. in-class writing, and discussion.

In-class discussions around the material developed is essential, as we all strive to make each others’ stories more compelling and dynamic.

This workshop should enable you to tap into your well of stories, to bring to the surface and the page elements which have left an imprint on you, and might very well be the reason behind your venturing into storytelling or the arts.

The participants will come out of this workshop with a repertoire of characters, plots, scenes, partial scripts which can eventually be the seeds of future work.

About me, May Kassem, the instructor

I graduated from Brown University’s Modern Culture and Media Department with a B.A. in Art Semiotics. In 1998, I completed an intensive course in Screenwriting through the FEMIS in Lebanon “PROFFIL” (Programme de Formation à la Fiction Longue) under the direction of FEMIS Screenwriting Department Director, Marie-Geneviève Ripeau. I got my Masters degree in Film: directing from USJ’s IESAV faculty.

I was consequently awarded the Fonds Sud Cinema fund for my feature film script “et je m’en vais vers la mer ouverte”, based on my experience growing up in war-torn Beirut, the violence of which my father attenuated through storytelling, music, and art.

I have been teaching screenwriting since 1999, and have worked as a photographer, filmmaker, animator, radio producer and screenwriter. I have made a number of documentaries, animated and short films which have shown in festivals in Lebanon and abroad. Most notable are Joker (1998), a docu-fiction I made about migrant Syrian construction workers which has shown in New York, London, Berlin, Beirut, and Ibiza. Asifa-East has showcased some of my animated work, including “Surveyed Liberty” (2004). My short experimental documentary “96.2.1” was screened at the Lebanese Film Festival 2014. The second chapter of which “96.2.2” screened at VideoWorks 2015

I have just completed a feature documentary based on the life of actress and singer Nourhane who was active in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, who had suddenly quit the stage, and who is my grandmother, and am working on the 3rd chapter of the radio series, as well as editing a video piece about the social movement in Beirut.”

6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Sept: Thu. 8th, Tue. 13th, Thu. 15th, Tue. 20th, Thu. 22nd, Tue. 27th, Thu. 29th & Oct: Tue. 4th, Thu. 6th, Tue. 11th

FEES: 25o $


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