A film script is an unfinished work, a ghost that seeks to inhabit a form. Where do the characters that are conceived for years, but that fail to find their bodies in an image, reside?
In December 1999, a recent film school graduate moves from Los Angeles to New York City. With a fiction film script in hand, she is convinced it will turn into a film within the year. Her second draft is shaped by the relentlessness of the city and her long conversations with Will, a homeless man obsessed with an island off the Bronx coast where there is a burial ground for the city’s homeless. 2001 brings a tragic and sudden halt to the project. The script remains a script but its main character, a forlorn young woman, follows the filmmaker to Beirut and makes herself a home in her subsequent writings.
In this film/lecture performance, Sabine El Chamaa blends fiction and autobiography to revisit the script, its locations as well as the implications and politics behind its interruption. Another possibility comes to life in the streets of New York City.
Created during her fellowship at CHRA this year, filmmaker Sabine El Chamaa will share her lecture performance at a free community event at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on Wednesday, April 12, 7pm EDT.
Sabine El Chamaa is a Lebanese filmmaker and is currently a Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and the Arts. She has a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London from the department of Communications, Media and Cultural Studies and an MFA from USC Cinematic Arts in Film Production. Her projects include fiction and non-fiction films, multidisciplinary installations, photography, and podcasts. Her current interests are centered on the ongoing reconstruction of collective and personal memory in relation to one’s embodied experience and personal archives.