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Setting the Scene: Cinema and Politics in the Mediterranean and the Middle East

6 hour course by Elisabet Cabeza (Blanquerna - Universitat Ramon Llull)

  • Schedule: 5 July (11:15-13:15) and 6 July (11:15-13:15 & 15:00-18:00)
  • Venue: Blanquerna

Film is a powerful tool for communication and discovering neighboring realities. It can offer a rich number of perspectives in conflicts, pressing political and social matters but also a telling view of everyday life rarely explored in the media. The aim of this course is to offer an insight into contemporary cinema of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, against the rich backdrop of film history in the region, with particular focus on production challenges such as funding, visibility and creative freedom. It will also reflect on the contrast with outside approaches, like the temptation for stereotypes and clichés seen in some Hollywood productions set in the area. We will explore these topics through film analysis, spotlighting key filmmakers both in fiction and documentary, as well as a look at how the industry is building bridges through co-productions and a growing network of film festivals.

Elisabet Cabeza
Head of Media Studies (Comunicació Audiovisual) at the Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Blanquerna - Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona.

A freelance journalist since 2006, she is the Spanish correspondent for the British trade magazine Screen International; she has also written for Sight & Sound and works for the San Sebastián International Film Festival. Awarded a doctorate in Audiovisual Communication and Publicity by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2015, she also taught documentary and film genres at the UAB from 2004 to 2021.

As a journalist, she has worked for the Catalan daily Avui - in the International and Culture sections, and as Paris correspondent – and, as a freelancer, for the TV programme Cinema 3 for Televisió de Catalunya. She has written and directed two feature documentaries: La doble vida del faquir (The Magicians, 2005) and Màscares (Masks, 2009), jointly with Esteve Riambau. Both premiered at the San Sebastián International Film Festival and had a theatrical release.