“Our Spaceship: Plotting a blueprint for future filmscapes,” a gathering of filmmakers, took place at Mophradat’s venue in Athens from May 26 to 30. The program was curated and led by artist and filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri, in collaboration with June Givanni and Pedro Pimenta.

The gathering was structured as an intergenerational dialogue in the form of halaqas, a tradition based on circular storytelling as a means of sharing experience, anecdotes, troubles, and aspirations. The group looked back and unpacked the evolution of the film industry to its current state; identified and proposed changes to its structures and processes (development, dossier, production, funding, etc.); and started on the road to proposing elements of a blueprint for a different future filmscape: a sustainable production space where multiple imaginaries can thrive and be translated into films that we hope to see made and seen.

The participants were Alia Ayman (Egypt), Assia Boundaoui (Algeria/USA), Dina Naser (Jordan/Palestine), Jihan El-Tahri (Egypt/France), Dr. June Givanni (Guyana/UK), Pedro Pimenta (Mozambique), Salimata Bâ (Mauritania), and Yosra El Gazzar (Egypt).

Alia Ayman is a film curator, maker, and scholar based between Cairo and New York City. She is the co-founder of Zawya Cinema in Cairo and has contributed to the programs of the Berlinale Forum, IDFA, BlackStar Film Festival, Flaherty NYC, Images Festival, and the Arab Women Film Festival in Brazil, among others. She holds a PhD in anthropology, culture, and media from New York University.

Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian American investigative journalist and filmmaker. Her debut short film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her award-winning feature-length directorial debut, The Feeling of Being Watched, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She was most recently a fellow at the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she incubated a community co-created, site-specific installation, the Inverse Surveillance Project. Assia earned a master’s degree in journalism from New York University.

Dina Naser is a Jordanian Palestinian director and producer. Her film, Tiny Souls premiered in 2019 at CPH:DOX and was selected for Sheffield DocFest, IDFA, DOK Leipzig, and Busan, among others. The film won the Human Rights Film Award at Dokufest and the Sunbird Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Palestine Cinema Days, among others. Dina also directed the award-winning short film One Minute, as well as Sukoun/Amplified, which had its world premiere at Berlinale’s Generation Kplus 2024, where it received a Special Mention Award. It also received the Black Bear Award for Sound Design at the Athens International Film + Video Festival. In 2017, Dina founded a multimedia production company, Madd Moshawash, with the vision of reflecting reality and expanding fiction through producing artistic and experimental projects. In 2019, Dina co-founded the Rawiyat collective.

Jihan is an Egyptian French director, producer, writer, and visual artist. She was the director of DOX BOX between 2019 and 2023. Her award-winning documentaries include Nasser (TIFF official selection), Behind the Rainbow, Cuba: An African Odyssey, and the Emmy-nominated House of Saud. Her work as a visual artist has been exhibited in various international biennials, including the Berlin Biennale (2022) and Dak’Art (2018). Her writings include Les Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat (Grasset) and The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs (Penguin). Jihan is also engaged in various associations and institutions working with African cinema.

June is a Guyanese-born London-based film curator. She has specialized in African-related movies since 1985 and has worked internationally as a film and television programs consultant and writer. She is a member of the Africa Movie Academy Awards jury. Having worked as a film curator on five continents, she is now best known for founding the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (JGPACA) in London, a personal collection documenting pan-African cinema over 40 years. Givanni was selected as the 2024 recipient of the BAFTA Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.

Pedro started his career with the National Film Institute of Mozambique in 1977. Since then, he has produced numerous short fiction films, documentaries, and features in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and South Africa. He is a co-founder of Ebano Multimedia, a leading independent production company in Mozambique. Pedro worked with the UNESCO Zimbabwe Film & Video Training Project for Southern Africa and was the production mentor of Africa & Pinocchio, a professional training program for producers in West Africa. He is the founder and director

of DOCKANEMA Film Festival in Mozambique and, until November 2015, directed the Durban International Film Festival.

Salimata Bâ was born in 1993 in Rosso, Mauritania. Since 2023, after completing a degree in sociology at the University of Nouakchott, she has been completing a master’s program at the Gaston-Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal. She coordinated a club that promotes Mauritanian literature, the Djibril Zakaria Sall Club. In 2018, she took part in a documentary writing residency in Nouakchott, where she developed her first documentary project on Mauritanian writers. In Mauritania, she campaigns for the officialization of Pulaar, Wolof, and Soninke on an equal footing with Arabic.

Yosra El Gazzar is a visual artist, graphic designer, and filmmaker based in Cairo. She has been the lead designer with Visualizing Palestine since 2016, where she also co-authored the book Visualizing Palestine: A Chronicle of Colonialism and the Struggle for Liberation. Yosra was a 2021 fellow of Moutheqat/Women in Dox fellowship in Tunisia, where she co-directed two documentary films. She was also a fellow of CEC ArtsLink in the US in 2022. Her work was showcased in various venues including MED international film festival in Rome, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Reel Palestine film festival in Dubai, the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, and Dar El Nimr for Arts and Culture in Beirut.

This retreat was implemented as part of the project “Future Acts,” which is partially supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany, and with additional support by Mophradat’s institutional partners.