Environmental film workshop a boost for students

February 6, 2012

A workshop on environmental filmmaking was held by an award-winning American documentary maker at the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF).

Ian Cheney, winner of the 2008 George Peabody Award for his film ‘King Corn,’ hosted the workshop for 20 university students in the Hamad Bin Khalifa Student Centre.

The event, organised by QF’s Sustainability Education Unit, focused on environmental filmmaking, a subject central to QF’s mission to broaden knowledge on Qatar’s journey towards a post-carbon economy. The students who attended were selected after submitting ideas relating to environmental issues in Qatar.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to provide students with the skills to bring their ideas to reality, and to educate others about environmental issues and solutions in Qatar,” Jamil Karam, Director of Student Life at QF, said. Cheney said that he was delighted by their eagerness to engage during his workshop.

“I was thrilled by the students’ enthusiasm for filmmaking, and impressed by their dedication to sustainability,” said Brooklyn-based Cheney.

“I’m sure we will be seeing some new, thoughtful environmental films in the very near future.”

The seminar covered all facets of the documentary production process, from conception to completion. The budding cinematographers in attendance were given a valuable lesson in the art of factual programming.

“I learned the fundamentals of filmmaking, such as story flow, camera focus, operation and other technical aspects, from an experienced filmmaker Talal Al Haddad, a student at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, said.

“It was a fun way to discover how I can make an impact and educate others about environmental issues.” Christopher Silva, the Sustainability Education Coordinator in the Office of Faculty and Student Services at QF, felt the workshop demonstrated a growing awareness of green issues amongst Qatar’s younger generation.

“The attendance of students from various universities in Education City, Qatar University and College of North Atlantic showed that students, regardless of major, are interested in environmental issues, and especially interested in making a difference in their communities,” he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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