Filmmaking Curriculum on Examer & Empowering Women Through Film by Eren Gulfidan

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As I leave another week behind, I feel excited about the new connections I formed and the projects I embarked upon. The most exciting part of the week was my correspondence with Film Annex filmmakers about the Afghan Development Project and our technology platform Examer. Earlier in the week, I got in touch with several filmmakers who are on Eren's Picks, to see if they would be interested in contributing to the educational curriculum we are preparing for students in Afghanistan. My colleague and Film Annex's Social Media Coordinator, Jennifer Bourne, and I worked together on creating a social media curriculum accompanied by questions about how to use Film Annex. Now, we hand the flag to our filmmakers so that they can share their knowledge with high schoolers in Afghanistan.  

I was amazed and humbled by the positive feedback and excitement I received from Mark KuczewskiAmy HillLisa StockAnderson WestAlex NakoneAndy ParkerJonathan NG, and Ken Turner. I'd like take this opportunity to thank them once again for their enthusiasm and interest in working with me to create a filmmaking curriculum for Afghan students. Perhaps, we'll inspire many Afghan kids to become the next generation of filmmakers and artists in Central and South Asia. Each filmmaker I listed above will be creating tests and/or essay questions about particular topics like animation, screenwriting, directing, storytelling, etc. Some will go more specific and prepare questions on Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Canon 5D, amongst others. This positive response reminded me once again how special Film Annex is, and in addition to being its own city like Francesco wrote in his blog, it is first and foremost a family. I'll keep you posted about the progress on our new curriculum, which will be introduced to Afghan students via Examer.

On Tuesday, animation filmmaker Nick Fox-Gieg visited Film Annex for an interview. It was great to meet Nick in person. We had an extensive chat about digital media, animation, video, Creative Commons, and the festival circuit, before we sat down for the interview. Nick was great in front of the camera, and it was interesting to learn more about his career, the success of his animations online as well as at festivals. Stayed tuned for the interview with Nick Fox-Gieg including excerpts from his animations.

I also had the opportunity to connect with several new female directors this week, including Alka Sadat, Saba Sahar, Nilu Doma Sherpa, Surakshya Basnet, and Soraya Arrabal - two Afghan, two Nepalese, and one Spanish filmmaker. Text and video interviews with these filmmakers are in the works, and this is the first towards our goal of empowering women through film

Speaking of empowering women through film, I had a great conversation with Mari Lyn HenryDirector ofProgramming at the League of Professional Theater Women and the author of How To Be A Working Actor, which has been in publication over 20 years. After the New Year, we will have Mari Lyn in our studio for a conversation about women in the arts, the difficulties, and of course the opportunities. I find Mari Lyn and her work inspiring, and I think she will be a great mentor for female filmmakers not just in the Western world, but also in South and Central Asia. 

The rest of my week consisted of writing my WACKY TUESDAYS blog, preparing and proposing a new layout for our Web TV channels, re-working some of the details on our homepage, such as the Film Annex welcome message, and creating a proposal for a new community page. Last but not least, I'm working on adding a Film Annex Studio section to our company info section and making some changes on there as well. 

As a Christmas and New Year's gift, I got myself this awesome piece of artwork (original copy!) by Charles Pieper. Check it out! Happy Holidays, everyone :D


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