As part of our latest collaborative filmmaking initiative through The Virtual Dinner Guest Project, we're having participants in Gaza and Rotterdam take over the @VirtualDinner Instagram account to document the process and a little bit about life in their communities. Check it out, and be sure to check out the films from Gaza and Rotterdam which we'll be posting in the coming days.
Open Roads Media and The Virtual Dinner Guest Project are excited to announce our partnership with the Arab Film Festival in The Netherlands this September and October.
We'll be working together to connect young filmmakers in The Netherlands to colleagues in Gaza, Palestine. The films created by both sides will then be screened on the final day of the festival, with the audience invited to participate in another Virtual Dinner with Gaza.
Follow the takeover of our @virtualdinner Instagram account by Virtual Dinner Guest Project alums from around the world:
Palestine (Gaza), Washington, DC, US-Mexico Border, Kosovo, Philadelphia, India, Pakistan, Egypt Lebanon, Germany, Spain, and the Native American Community.
Our takeover hashtags are: #OneTableOneLove and #virtualdinnerguestproject
What do our participants think about our programming? Check out this blog from Isra in Gaza:
"Personally, I think such initiatives will absolutely make a difference in the way people from all over the world can talk and discuss issues together away from the mainstream media – ‘making the media in the hands of people’."
Back in September students in The Netherlands and in Lebanon sat down to a Virtual Dinner exchange. After the meal and discussion each side posed questions to the other. Here are the three films that the sides made in response.
This most recent collaboration was sponsored by The Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lebanon, and in partnership with the Unite Lebanon Youth Project.
Our current bi-national project has Open Roads Media connecting students in Amsterdam with students from across Lebanon for another for another production of The Virtual Dinner Guest Project. Students on both sides will Discuss and Digest their varying views on a wide range of cultural and political topics and then document voices from the streets of their communities in short-form documentary film productions completed in each country.
On the Lebanon side we are partnering with Unite Lebanon Youth Project and canvassing the country with our questions, from Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, to the beaches of Saida and Sour, to the Bekaa Valley, the agricultural heartland of Lebanon adjacent to the Syrian border, and home to dozens of camps for Syrian refugees.
Our Amsterdam partners are working on a parallel street film project in The Netherlands. You can watch the two short films here at the end of September, 2016, and you can also follow our progress and our snapshots, for this and previous projects, on social media:
Facebook: Open Roads Media
Hello supporters of The Virtual Iftar Project. And Ramadan kareem!
Throughout this past year we have released 3 episodes from our epic trip across Europe for Ramadan 2015. And we will be releasing our 4th and final episode just in time for Eid next week. This final episode will feature the collaboration between our participants in Gaza and Amsterdam.
Just as with last summer, the refugee crisis remains a grave international concern. At a time when xenophobia, political fear mongering, and media stereotypes threaten to define the discourse between Europe and Muslim-majority countries we want to ensure that initiatives like this remain possible.
While we were not able to secure the necessary supports to follow up with a 2nd Virtual Iftar Project for 2016, we want to be back in 2017. And there is something VERY simple you can do to help make that a reality. It requires no money. It simply requires a couple of minutes in front of your computer or your smart phone.
We need you to share the three videos that we have completed so far; videos that feature connections between Kosovo, Gaza, Pakistan, Germany and Egypt. We need to get these videos out in front of as many eyes as possible BEFORE THE END OF RAMADAN. The more views that we can accumulate the stronger will be our case for attracting sponsors for next year.
So, if you can take a few minutes to watch and share the three videos posted in the comments below, and commit couple of sentences to writing about why you believe in this idea, it will help us tremendously.
Thanks to all of you for your support!