Mai Iskander’s second documentary Words of Witness picked up an Al Jazeera Documentary Channel award at the 9th Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival which ended on Sunday In Doha, as I announced yesterday.
The New York-based Egyptian filmmaker premiered the film at the 2012 Berlinale in February. It follows 22-year-old Egyptian journalist Heba Afify as she defies cultural norms, takes to the streets to report firsthand on news after the fall of Mubarak, after 18 days of demonstrations during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
And the film continues to travel the international film festival circuit, with stops scheduled next for the Africa Documentary Film Festival tomorrow, 4/27, in Kingston, Jamaica, followed by the Human Rights Film Festival in Melbourne, Australia, in May.
Every time 22-year-old Heba Afify heads out to cover the historical events shaping her country’s future, her mother is compelled to remind her, “I know you are a journalist, but you’re still a girl!” Defying cultural norms and family expectations, Heba takes to the streets to report on an Egypt in turmoil, using tweets, texts and Facebook posts. Her coming of age, political awakening and the disillusionment that follows, mirrors that of a nation seeking the freedom to shape its own destiny, dignity and democracy.
This morning, I was alerted to the existence of a trailer for the film, which I wasn’t aware of when I first profiled the film yesterday. It’s embedded below: