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Filmmaking and Directing in Jordan


Filmmaking in JordanJordan, hemmed in between Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Palestine is facing many challenges, since our country is growing in many sectors and fields, such as the economy, and filmmaking, where the country is witnessing the birth of digital filmmaking, with the media industry in Jordan adapting to the new technology to achieve the highest standards.

Sandra Kawar Samain a Producer & Director from Jordan tells us more...


Many world-wide producers come to Jordan to shoot their films, taking advantage of our varied geography and fabulous history. The arrival of digital filmmaking is  now likely to change the landscape of Jordan's independent cinema. The tools for digital filmmaking are falling within reach of many middle income Jordanians, and the democratization of filmmaking in the Arab world is now underway. Government censorship and controls are now all but obsolete, because of the way digital films can be produced and distributed.  Films made in Jordan can easily be screened in any part of the world. The explosion of Arab satellites and regional film festivals has also offered more opportunities for independent Arab filmmakers to distribute their films.

I'm writing this article, to show the world that here in Jordan, we have creative people and professionals in filmmaking. We all know that the director is a story teller, but he/she tells the story in a different way, he/she translates from letters and alphabets, into vision scenes. The director takes a well-developed story, interprets it and organizes its realisation through the production design, score and performances.

The director can also control the audience's emotional involvement with the film through shot selection.

The basic topics of directors :

Artistic identity, style, story/form and genre, screen language, craft departments, director's department, set department, set procedure.

Starting the project :

Interpretation of the script, translation to the screen.

Directing the frame :

Subject size, angle, perspective, composition, look, movement, continuity, coverage.

Directing the actor :

The actor's craft, casting, rehearsal, directing actors on the set.

Affecting the audience :

Expectation, suspense, surprise, violence, humor, dynamic dialogue scenes, static dialogue scenes, group dialogue scenes, tricks of the trade, documentaries and experimental.

Each director has his or her own style and techniques of telling the story and each director must keep updating their knowledge regularly, because the technology is always rapidly moving forward.

The various technical, creative, human and financial operations, needed for making a motion picture film result in images and sound recorded on photographic support : the film.

This support is a roll of film, 35mm wide for professional films, rolled up inside a reel, which can be projected in a movie theatre with a projector. A complete projection reel holds 600 metres of 35mm film, which represents 20 minutes of  projection. A full-length movie includes at least 5 reels and one can see directly on the film, a succession of images -frames- as a well as the sound track in an optical form - the Optic Track.

In the beginning, the images and the sounds visible on the film were recorded from reality which existed at one real time and in a real place; this moment was the shooting and the place was the set.  We will not speak about the cases where the recorded image does not come from a pre-existent reality: case of opticals, animation, virtual images and so on, but there are now spectacular possibilities arising through the marriage of cinema and data processing.

I don't want to make this issue longer on you, but I will be more than happy to share experience with you anytime, and if any of you are planning to shoot a film in Jordan, I will be prepared to cooperate and give you all the facilities I can from my country, Jordan.

Best regards,

Sandra Kawar Samain-Director/Producer from Jordan

Contact info:

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