2022 Nahda Film Lab
A month long filmmaking program for emerging Arab artists. Instructors include, filmmakers, Maha Al Saati, Nehal El Hadi, Ahmed Ismaiel Nour, Rolla Tahir, and facilitator Lobna Mahdi.
Registration opens soon. Subscribe to our newsletter for more information.
Registration fee: $125
Capacity: 12 participants
When: Saturdays + Sundays, November 6-December 9, 2021
Where: virtual + in-person workshops
Maha Al-Saati, Filmmaker
Maha Al-Saati is an independent, experimental filmmaker interested in exploring women’s stories in the Arab World. She is TIFF Filmmaker Lab 2020 and TIFF Writers' Studio 2021 Alum, and honorary recipient of the Share Her Journey Award and The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) residency 2021. Her short films include Hair: The Story of Grass (18), an official selection of Fantastic Fest 2018, Slamdance 2019, and HollyShorts 2019; Cycle of Apples (19); and Fear: Audibly (17). Her feature project Hajj to Disney was selected for development by the Red Sea Lodge in partnership with TorinoFilmLab.
Ahmed Ismaiel Nour, Filmmaker
Ahmed is an Egyptian filmmaker who is currently based in Toronto. He started his career as assistant director in several feature films, TV Shows and music videos, where he gained valuable experience in the Egyptian main-stream film industry. And since 2003, he has started his quest in the world of independent cinema, in which, he wrote, produced, edited and directed numerous short and full-length films that participated in a lot of international film festivals and won several awards. Although he is mostly known for his hybrid picture WAVES aka MOUG, Ahmed’s body of work encompasses many other successful fiction, experimental and documentary films. He also produced and directed quite a few commercials as well as TV documentaries for renowned TV channels. In addition to directing, Ahmed works as video-editor, photographer and film instructor.
Nehal El-Hadi, Writer
Nehal El-Hadi is a writer, editor, and researcher based in Toronto. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience, Nehal’s interdisciplinary work has appeared in journalistic, academic, literary and art gallery publications, as well as several anthologies and edited collections. Themes explored in her writing include the relationships between virtual and material spaces, the agency of digital objects, and gendered and racialized online experiences. Her short film Blaxites (2019) was commissioned by the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queens University and is being used globally to teach about the implications of technology use. Nehal is currently working on #000000, a hybrid virtual/material multi-faceted project exploring the future impacts of surveillance.
Rolla Tahir is a filmmaker and director of photography based in Toronto. She’s lensed short, narrative and experimental films, which screened across Canada and internationally, including the UK, the United States, Germany and Guatemala. In 2017, Rolla co-founded the Toronto Arab Film, a non-for-profit that celebrates and platforms pan-Arab films through annual festival.
Lobna Mahdi is the Outreach and Development Coordinator at TAF and the co-lead of the Nahda FilmLab. She holds an MA in Adult Education and Community Development and a Bachelor’s in Equity Studies and Psychology, both from the University of Toronto. During her graduate studies, she conducted research on the works of lower-class Egyptian women filmmakers of the early 20th century, demonstrating their pioneering role in the Egyptian and Arab arts and their influence on nationalist and feminist discourse of their time. With a vision of sparking an Arab-Canadian film renaissance/Nahda, Lobna is dedicated to creating learning and training opportunities for the next generation of Arab filmmakers as well as providing Arab youth with safe spaces to imagine a world beyond imperialism, capitalism, and orientalism.