Kuwait has a lot of hidden talent, especially in the film industry. That’s why American film moguls Tim Skousen and Aaron Douglas Johnston teamed up with the US Embassy in Kuwait, the Ministry of Youth and Dar Al Athar Al Islamiya to create a five-day intensive workshop for budding local filmmakers.
The workshop took place from May 10th-14th 2016, hosting 25 talented local participants, guiding them through steps to tell their stories and create their own masterpieces, and was led by Douglas Johnston and Skousen, walking the students through the process of filmmaking, every step of the way.
“Already halfway through the workshop, Tim and I could see that there is enormous talent and passion here to tell local stories.” They took that passion and talent and translated it to this inspirational outline throughout the workshop, after forming 7 groups for the participants to work in.
Day 1: Story
Day 2: Directing Actors
Day 3: Cinematography
Day 4: Film Shoot, where participants filmed their own scenes.
Day 5: Editing, where participants edited their own scenes.
The experience ended in a public film screening at the Yarmouk Cultural Center on May 14th, where they showcased the final film productions created by the groups. Check out a video of their progress on Instagram.
The American Film Showcase is a cultural diplomacy program of the US State Department, and the opportunity this has created for prospective filmmakers in Kuwait shows that there is a lot of potential for artists of this region to tell their stories and showcase their talent. “The whole world is interested in stories from places they have never been. So Kuwait has a real advantage to break into the international scene with stories about Kuwaitis,” says co-director of the program, Tim Skousen.
We’re looking forward to seeing the stories these filmmakers were able to tell through this workshop, and seeing them break into the international scene. It is without a doubt that with the intensive training they have gone through and the hard work they put into making their films, they will succeed and we may be able to see their work in film festivals in the near future.