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Sha3teely | the wisdom of bloggers jury

As I posted before, I had the pleasure and the honor to be part of blogger’s jury committee in the JSFF this year. Although it was a time consuming but I believe it worth every second. I had the chance to get to know Moh Al Qaq and Hiba more “two amazing bloggers and designers”. I really enjoyed their companionship. I also meet Hazim Betar, the organizer of the event and one of the pioneering film makers who did a lot of the industry in Jordan. I meet also Nadine Toukan, producer, a friend and former co-worker at Arabia.com. Nadine is also the producer of Captain Abu Raed film. I had the chance to meet film makers, directors and film critics. But also let’s not forget the good amount of films screened at the Festival which enriched my experience and gave me the motivation and energy to do such films.

That was my personal side of the experience, the other parts concerns the event it self and the venue.

JSFF | the shy festival

I still don’t understand why the numbers of attendance did not reach a good number. Although the organizers did a Facebook group, sent emails, created a website and blogged about it. It seems that a street banner is doing much more effect than an email group or a blog. Or maybe people thought it was only for Jordanian short films and there are no other countries involved. But yet I am sure that there was something wrong and numbers can be increased more.

Also I believe that movies should be categories more based on quality and type, not only based on Arabic or international production. Sometimes I feel it not right to screen an amateur movie after a professional short movie, or screening a documentary movie after fiction.

Anyway I believe we all should support this festival, private and public. Because really I know that Hazim Bitar and his team are doing it for free and they are gaining nothing from that festival. So we can’t ask them for more. Instead we should all lend a hand to make the festival next year a success.

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Al Hussein Cultural Center | a treasure in the wrong hands

I don’t know why always when I go to this venue I get depressed. When you enter you feel you’re self in a ghost city. Few security people who can barley read Arabic or English sitting on chairs and they have no idea what is happening inside. And by the way nothing is happening inside. I always feel it’s so dead.

I think the venue was the biggest mistake in the organization part. I believe if the festival was in a different place I think it would be a much success.

Let me tell you what is wrong in that place!!
- Workers at the venue are not trained to deal with people. Most of the time they are rude, aggressive and not well educated.
- No organization skills.
- Dead, dead and dead place.
- A venue with an attitude. Everything they do is a generously and you should be grateful enough and kiss their asses for it. “Why!!”
- If you’re looking for creativity, you are in a wrong place.
- Watches out people are looking at you.
- Lo Sama7at Hatha Mamnoo3
- Where are the events??

If I were Omar Al Ma’ani
- Separated the management of the venue totally from the municipality and creates a new organization.
- Inject more energetic and creative team and give them total authority and freedom.
- Kill the sick governmental system thinking inside the employees and replace it with private sector mentality.
- Look for sponsors and inject more money in PR and communication.
- Adopt as many regular events as possible and create an open competition between other venues.
- Offer packages and allow for some private sectors to open investment inside the venue such as bookstores, internet café, galleries and traditional shops.
- Make use of the site and expand the border of the venue into outside areas.
- Make sure that the capacity of the venue is a full state and at least 5 to 10 event are happing each day at the same time.

If you have more ideas you are more than welcome to add.

May its hard to do the entire above, but at least let’s admit that we failed to take the maximum advantages of that great venue. Let’s make a good restart. Can we?

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7 Responses to “JSFF, Al Hussein Cultural Center and the missing ingredient”

  1. salam Says:

    Very True..very good recommendations too.

  2. Hazim Bitar Says:

    Dear Wael,

    Thank you for the excellent post. And also thank you for accepting to join the Jordanian Bloggers’ Jury.

    For the record, the Greater Amman Municipality did not grant us permission to set up banners in Amman to advertise for the festival. They have cut our daily programming time from 11:30pm to 10pm, in the middle of the festival, without consulting with us. One of our visiting guests from outside Jordan was rudely evicted from the theater during the late screening, because the security guard did not feel the urge to stay late.

    Nevertheless, the JSFF does not stop at the last day of the festival. A program called Echoes of the JSFF continues touring with the festival program in various areas in Jordan and cultural centers. Our target audience is not necessarily the audience that shows up at the main theater, it is the audiences of the follow up festival screenings from now until the end of the year.

    This show must go on, if Jordan is to have an independent cinema movement.

  3. Wael Attili Says:

    I agree with you Hazim and to tell you the truth i did not want to talk about the bad experience you had with venue organizers because i thought you are the best who can tell the story.. thank you for sharing us your experience too.

  4. Hussein Says:

    هذا المكان مِلكٌ للشعب.. واسمه على اسم شخص عزيز على قلب كل انسان عاش في هذا البلد.. ولايجوز أن يتم التلاعب به بناءً على آهواء ومزاجيات بعض الموظفين الكسالى والخاملين

    شكراً استاذ وائل على المقال.. وجزيل الشكر للاستاذ حازم بيطار على جهوده

  5. fida Says:

    Hi Wael… What did u think of ‘Saba7 el Ful’? and what are the other movies they showed?

    Btw, ur Ramadan clay cartoon greeting is all over facebook!!! :)

  6. Wael Attili Says:

    Saba7 el fol is the choice of the blogger jury, already announced by khobbazeh in his blog.. I am going to write a post about why we choose it and what other movies we saw..

  7. fida Says:

    That is great! I also thought it was one of the better short movies palyed at Dubai International Film Festival

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