Co-creators Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook are proud to launch the next film in Field of Vision, THE JOURNEY, a six-part series directed by Matthew Cassel. The multi-part documentary follows the treacherous, seventeen-hundred-mile migration of a Syrian refugee who fled the perils of wartime Damascus to build a better life for his family. It will be published on The New Yorker website as part of a collaboration with Field of Vision. The total runtime for the film is 70 min.
More than a million people whose lives have been upended by desperation and violence in Syria have made similar journeys, but most of these treks take place in obscurity. Aboud Shalhoub was joined by the filmmaker Matthew Cassel, who documented-and participated in-the perilous migration in 2015. Cassel's colleague Simon Safieh stayed in Damascus with Aboud's wife, Christine, and his two children. The series captures Aboud's long trip to the Netherlands, the family's attempts to reunite, and the tide of nationalist sentiment sweeping across northern Europe.
A new episode of THE JOURNEY will be posted on newyorker.com every day, starting today, through May 28. Members of the press who would like to watch the entire series in advance of publication should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew Cassel is an independent multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Istanbul. He spent five years covering the Arab world with the Al Jazeera network. His 2013 award-winning film for AJE, “Identity and Exile: an American’s struggle with Zionism,” focuses on his personal journey from his hometown Chicago to the Middle East, where he has lived for the past decade. Cassel is co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a collection of essays on the 2011 uprisings by writers from across the Arab world. Cassel speaks fluent Arabic and has spent much of the past two years focusing on the plight of refugees seeking asylum in the EU.
AJ Schnack is a filmmaker and writer known for nonfiction feature work including Speaking is Difficult (2016), Caucus (2013), Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006) and Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns)(2003). He is the Founding Director of the Cinema Eye Honors, an annual international award for nonfiction filmmaking. Schnack won the Jury Prize for Direction at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and is an Independent Spirit Award nominee.
Charlotte Cook is a film curator, writer and producer. She recently joined the programming team of CPH:DOX. Previously, Cook was the Director of Programming at Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, and prior to that was the head of film programming and training at the Frontline Club in London, an organization dedicated to championing independent journalism and freedom of expression. She has also worked as part of the commissioning team at BBC Storyville and with BRITDOC.
Laura Poitras' most recent film, RISK, just premiered to great acclaim at the Directors' Fortnight at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Her prior film CITIZENFOUR, won the 2015 Academy Award for best documentary, as well as awards from BAFTA, Independent Spirit Awards, and the Director's Guild of America. Her exhibition ASTRO NOISE recently completed its run at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Field of Vision commissions and creates short and episodic films that use visual journalism to expand how we understand the world. Field of Vision will work with leading filmmakers to take on developing and ongoing stories as they unfold.
The New Yorker is a national weekly magazine that offers a signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, foreign affairs, business, technology, popular culture, and the arts, along with humor, fiction, poetry, and cartoons. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly magazine every day with groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration on newyorker.com and on mobile and tablet devices.
First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices across all platforms, from investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Field of Vision is the visual journalism unit of First Look Media and presents short-form documentaries and series through the lenses of top filmmakers. Since its launch in September 2015, Field of Vision has commissioned more than twenty-five films, many premiering at festivals worldwide, including Sundance, New York, SXSW, and Rotterdam.
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Source: The New Yorker