Film

Jehane Noujaim’s “The Square” premieres at the Sundance Film Festival

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

On January 25, 2011, nearly 50,000 Egyptians took to the streets, occupying Tahrir Square. One of their most powerful weapons: cameras, both still and video, to share their story with the rest of the world. Jehane Noujaim: My wish: A global day of film Jehane Noujaim: My wish: A global day of film However, many of these cameras were captured during violent clashes.

Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim — who won the TED Prize in 2006 and wished for a global day of film — seeks to tell the story of these protestors in her new documentary, The Square. The film combines the shocking and powerful footage taken by the protestors themselves, along with Noujaim’s interviews. The Square premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday and received a standing ovation. It is in the running for the film festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition.

But Noujaim does not want The Square to be a closed book. She has taken to Kickstarter to raise funds to finish the film.

The Square is a film about a group of young Egyptians brought together by a revolution, and who — together — find a new sense of hope for their country … [But] two years in, the revolution is far from over,” the Kickstarter page explains. “We are asking you, the Kickstarter community, to help finish our film. There are so many ways we want to make sure this film really comes to life after it debuts at Sundance … in Egypt, in the USA, and really around the world … Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement At this very moment our team members are on the ground in Egypt, continuing to capture footage of history as it unfolds — to be included in the final final edit of the film. We  wrapped up our Sundance edit only days ago, but we have more work to do. Your funding will help.”

The Square isn’t the only film of Noujaim’s to show at Sundance this year. Her documentary Rafea: Solar Mama is showing as a part of the festival’s “Stories of Change” program this week. This film follows a Jordanian woman who attends Bunker Roy’s revolutionary Barefoot College in India, the subject of his 2011 TED Talk.

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