May 2017


Arab Film Series - Beyond Spring

Thursday 11.05.2017 8:00 PM | Saal

Admission: €5

Organizer: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. / EUME
Curation: Viola Shafik

Co-Operation Flyer

Diaries of a Flying Dog (Yawmiat Kalb Ta'r) يوميات كلب طائر
Lebanon/UAE, 75 min, colour, digital, Arabic with English subtitles
Written and directed by Bassem Fayad | Production Jad Abi-Khalil | Camera Bassem Fayad | Editors Carine Doumit, Jad Abi-Khalil | Sound, sound design Victor Bress



A man and his tiny dog have something in common: obsessive compulsive anxiety disorder. Throughout their quest to heal, we dissect their surroundings into pieces - their upbringing, fears and constant inner conflict. A memory is recalled; a memory filled with fear, violence, war, love and a past almost depicting itself again in the present and in the future. The setting is a family's house. A father, a mother, sons, daughters and grandchildren living on a versant in Lebanon. The time is when beauty faded and ugliness and expiation prevailed. The man is the director, the dog is the mirror and the film is the instrument…
Using an example from his own biography
– from the start of the civil war in 1975 to the first weeks of the Islamic State in summer 2014 – Bassem Fayad examines how life goes on inside and around him during the war.




The Director

Lebanese director of photography and filmmaker Bassem Fayad lives and works in Beirut. He has worked extensively as a director of photography on films in the Middle East, in countries including Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. In 2002, he was selected by Kodak International as one of the 10 best talents in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Bassem Fayad's film Beirut-Baghdad received a Special Mention at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Montpellier and in 2004, The Road Beyond the Sunset was the winner of the Audience Award at the 2004 Cinema Days of Beirut and of the Best Documentary at the 2005 Al Jazeera Film Festival.

He was the cinematographer of Simon El Habre’s feature documentaries The One Man Village (which has won over 10 international awards) and Gate #5 as well as Akram Zaatari’s essay Letter to a Refusing Pilot and Ghassan Salhab’s The Valley, which have been presented at the 2014 Forum Section of the Berlin Film Festival.



  • Dubai International Film Festival (UAE)
  • Beirut Cinema Days (Lebanon)
  • Mediterranean Film Festival Alexandria (Egypt)
  • Malmo Arab Film Festival (Sweden)
  • Arab Film Festival San Francisco (USA)
  • JCC - Carthage International Film Festival (Tunesia)
  • International Independent Film Festival Lima (Peru)


Beyond Spring - Arab FILM SERIES


In 2010, the Tunisian protest movement triggered a wave of upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa that became known as “the Arab Spring”. However, there is also a history to tell beyond “Spring”.

Since 2014, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has been highlighting films from several Arab countries as part of the Arab Film Series, with this specific selection of films curated by Viola Shafik. It aims at exploring some major social and political issues in the region and further our understanding of various dynamics in regards to class, gender and politics in general, as well as explore topics concerning confessionalism, social justice and the question of Palestine.

The screenings will be accompanied by moderated panels with academic experts from the Berlin-based research program Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME) at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.




Viola Shafik, PhD is a filmmaker, curator and film scholar. She has authored among others Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity, AUC-Press, Cairo, 1998 and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class and Nation, AUC-Press, 2007. She has lectured at the American University in Cairo and Zürich University and is in the selection committee of the Rawi Screenwriters Lab and the Berlinale World Cinema Fund. She has directed several documentaries, most notably Ali im Paradies/My Name is not Ali (2011) and Arij - Scent of Revolution (2014).

She currently teaches at Humboldt University Berlin, as well as at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.

An event in cooperation with Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. and EUME (Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe).




The facilities of the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN are accessible to wheelchair users. Please call us in advance on +49 (0)30 60 97 70-0 to ensure proper access support.