The Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi will include four master classes this year. Three of these will be conducted by celebrated film composers who will give participants a look into their creative process. The fourth will focus on the role of film archives in the modern world and look at why the Arab world has only four institutions dedicated to film preservation among the 149 institutions in the world.
The programmes will be offered at 11am on select days at the MEIFF Festival Tent on the main terrace behind the Emirates Palace Hotel.
Composer-performers Sussan Deyhim and Richard Horowitz will talk about how they compose for films, and how their film scores have been influenced by Middle Eastern music. Tehran-born Deyhim, who is an accomplished dancer, composer and vocal artist; and Horowitz, who studied Middle Eastern flute and music theory during a 12-year sojourn will do a presentation titled “The Cosmic Symphony: How to use the original vibrations from the Big Bang in film scoring”.
Composer, conductor and musician David Amram will include a mini-concert with performances on the “dumbek” (a Middle Eastern ‘chalice drum’), shenai (Indian woodwind) and various regional flutes as part of his presentation titled “From New Orleans jazz to the Egyptian hijaz”.
Silent film accompanist Neil Brand will also offer a master class titled “The Silent Pianist Speaks” in which he will illustrate the art of improvising for silent films.
Author, film historian, and director of the Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy, Paolo Cherchi Usai will conduct a class on “Preserving the film heritage of the Arab world” in which he will attempt to lay bare the real challenges faced in attempting to preserve the moving images of the past.
MEIFF will be held from October 8-17, 2009.