Al-Akhbar Newspaper – Ali Wajih, Tuesday 17 March 2015
From The Faculty Of Political Sciences and The Tatous Cinema Club, comes Simon Safieh. The Syrian filmmaker, born in 1988, is a part of a new generation, and was introduced to a commanding cinematic passion early on. He did not let the absence of a Higher Institute for Cinema in his country discourage him, so he relied on personal effort and diligence.
After a number of workshops, he worked with Joud Saeed as a co-filmmaker trainee on the movie (My Last Friend 2012), then as co-director in (On the wait for fall) (Not shown yet).
Filming locations knew him also in (29 February 2012) by Al-Muhannad Kulthom, (Violet Fires) (Preliminary name, not shown yet) by Muhammad Abd Al-Azeez and (The Bus) (Not shown yet) by Youssef Al-Youssef. Soon enough, Simon inaugurated his own filmography with the experimental film (Not just an apple 2012-1 min), then deferred to feature films in (WHY? 2013-8 min-General Organization of Cinema-Youth Cinema Support project). In this film, some of the upcoming signs in the work of this young filmmaker can be foreseen. Its scenario by Aktham Deeb follows a love story in a coastal atmosphere. It discusses the issue of civil marriage, in a surreal space, with the help of classical cuts in direction.
(Why?) can be considered a necessary transformative phase, with all its ups and downs, in Safieh’s mode of thinking, and the way he looks at things in life. A year later, he came back with (Julya 2014-16 minutes. General Organization of Cinema-Youth Cinema Support project). Here, He matured on various levels, from script writing to direction, methodology and scenery structuring. With dexterity, a calm structure and few words, he captures the consequences of the brutal rape, which was experienced by (Julya) in the course of the Syrian war…even though it is kept secret by many closed households and among broken families. With this film, Simon won an award for best direction in (The first Cinema and Short Films Festival) in Damascus last year, and he is preparing to participate in the official contest of the first (Alexandria Festival for short films) (7-12 April 2015) in Egypt. Concerning documentaries, Safieh made (The Tunnel 2013-25 min. Poor Film), Following the lives of Syrian refugees, who inhabit a pedestrian tunnel in Tartous. (Poor Film) continued its pursuit to make Syrian independent films. Finally, it struck again with the long narrative film (Sardine’s trying to fly), which was the first for Simon Safieh, both in writing and direction. His film (Julya) will participate in the Festival of Alexandria next month.
His film "Julia" will participate in the Alexandria Festival next month