“Ana" means I am, Ana is an experimental, poetic doc series of 9 episodes created by 9 Lebanese audiovisual artists exploring their emotions in regards to their self image and intuitively transforming them into a unique audiovisual expression.
“Ana” is a series conceived & produced by Home of Cine-Jam within the intuitive film lab program created & conducted by Muriel Aboulrouss. Each artist is invited to create an episode of the series.
I am a writer, music journalist, and communications professional. After years inside corporate cubicles, I’m excited to be participating in the intuitive film lab, with more films and articles to follow. Graduated with a masters in sustainability and bachelors in Journalism, and passionate about third-culture identity, feminism, and Arab anthropology.
It’s not just the learning of what is authentic or learning to feel instead of rationalize through the powerful languages of video and audio. The process of this Intuitive Filmlab peeled away my defensive layers, both insecurities and pride, and guided me in that commercially called safe space to really battle my deepest fears. Imagine you find your artistic voice enhanced by your favorite teacher, then deconstructed within a community of your favorite peers, and constructed again with the most professional support. Muriel calls it magical, and my subconscious appreciates it as metaphysical healing.
I am a storyteller, I portray reality with all its brutality and tenderness, film is my medium, but I won’t restrict myself.
The intuitive film lab woke up my intuition and made me realize i am an artist. Muriel is a conductor and mentor from another planet (in a good way)
Jean Claude Boulos
I am a Beirut-based filmmaker and audiovisual storyteller working in film, media, and the performing arts since 2010. My work often focuses on portraying and empowering underdogs and marginalized individuals. In 2019, I co-founded Fawra Media, an independent media outlet that tells the stories usually missed out on by traditional mainstream media.
The film lab brought me the joy in cinema I had when I was a child, shooting short films on our family’s hand-me-down handycam. It brought back a relationship with art I thought I once lost, when reality hit the fan in my growing years.
Bashar Al Khoury
I am a living, breathing creative content producer, filmmaker, and editor with a deep fascination for words and wordplay. I love writing songs and poetry, and I believe laughter cures illness. I once jumped out of a first-floor window for no apparent reason and if we play Truth or Dare, you’re in for the ride of your life.
The Intuitive Filmlab has given me great insight into how to express my emotions through film. What’s more is that it has helped me change my relationship with myself and others including family, for which I am very grateful. I am also very grateful for the massive support and encouragement I received from the coordinators and my peers.
Sandy Belle Boutros
I am a Lebanese filmmaking graduate with a long experience working in the field as a first assistant director/Line producer. I started my career in 2011.
Luckily my job is my passion, my hobby, so I practice love that defies societal expectations to let my work do the talking in order to unlock the potential of every team I work with.
I long to capture stories that inspire people and I strive to share my vision to explore our relationship with this nature and ourselves, so I gather my eyes with people’s eyes and see what my mind would project of the person I wish to find in me. Getting a life-changing experience into the mind of people is my every time calling.
When I first got to the “intuitive film lab” I didn’t expect this deep subconscious cleansing to be taken with me… I experienced my subconscious fears, so I became more aware of my inner self, I learned how to identify what I’m feeling for the situation I’m in, not the one that is more comfortable, so I didn’t run from my vulnerable part of who I am and I believe that’s the part that will lead anyone to magical adventures and great opportunities. I thank Muriel aboulrouss for giving me the opportunity to observe myself honestly and without judgment, this was a beautiful journey of emotional growth.
I am a self-made hardworking and dedicated storyteller. I am a Human Rights Defender and history enthusiast who uses his passion for visuals and art and history to create and document compelling stories.
As someone coming from a technical background, it was always a challenge for me to tackle content and feelings, especially converting my feelings into visuals. This filmlab made me dig deep through my emotions and feelings, to places i rarely go. It gave me and 8 other people a chance to share our emotions and stories. to create bonds and connections.
and a bigger change to share our feelings with other people. I am grateful I was part of this overwhelming experience. If I had to give the shortest description of this lab is a heart/eye opening experience.
I am a film director and storyteller and everything in between. I believe cinema is the gate to our subconscious mind where answers are buried. Making movies is a self-discovery journey where we allow others to see, feel and hear parts of who we are. I believe anyone can make a movie if he/she is truly, honestly connected to their inner self.
The filmlab was amazing! Muriel Aboulrouss is an extremely competent person and really knows how to engage us in the process. From day one till the end of the lab we were in deep connection with how to create intuitively our audiovisual creation. The process was very interesting and the discussion were truly inspiring I particularly enjoyed it. I learned a lot and I have the feeling that all these useful techniques will be used in my futur projects. This filmlab is a must and highly recommended for anyone who wants to be true to himself and for his creation. Thanks again for the amazing experience.
I am a storyteller, I love to tell all kinds of stories through photography and film. Photography for me is amazing just the thought of telling a story with one frame makes me feel excited I’m also a sound healer, Sound for me is the symmetry of the image, And when I discovered that sound waves are so powerful that they have the ability to heal people this is where I wanted to create more, art for me is my way of freedom and expression.
The filmlab for me was one of a kind process. It really helped me in places where I was creatively stuck. While doing my project in the beginning my mind was working all the time, this process helped me using my heart, my mind and my gut at the same time and made me realize that I really enjoy filmmaking and storytelling. its my way of expression and my medicine.
the best thing about it is that I’m in a unique creative process with many other artists that turned into family in the end.
Georges Abou Ghazaly
I am a director/cinematographer, rooted in the poetic style, Grabbing moments in film that defy the language and time barriers.
The Intuitive Filmlab was more like a filmmaker’s advanced class. You learn how to connect to your inner intuition and shape it to manifest as a film. Its content is made for experienced filmmakers and strong-minded honest people. So if anyone decided to apply to the filmlab they have to be physically and mentally capable. The Intuitive Filmlab is a one step forward kind of an experience and I highly recommend it for experienced filmmakers!
At 6 years old, I was in the bus and a little bit sad. I was feeling very different than my other classmates, in my school environment. When I felt a sudden clarity, my eye became bigger, bigger than the bus and everything. I looked at the girl in the back of the bus, one of my classmates, her mother by her side; and I thought: “would I be the same if I was her? living her life?” That same eye answered: “Yes of course, yes!” Then I looked at my mom and myself, with that external eye. I felt that despite all the complexity of my life. I really preferred to be Shérine. I was happy with myself. 30 years later. I’m still …happy to be Shérine.
This year, experiencing the intuitive film lab, was as passionate and exciting as last year. Witnessing and expressing in my own way the Cine-Jam creative process was the role I played in 2022, while I was one of the creators of Ana Beirut the series in 2021. It was a great blessing, to be in the presence of new creators, seeing how their eyes were shining brighter, week after week; and it all comes down to the genuine encounter they had with themselves. Its not easy to look at our own truth and to express it creatively, although it is one of the main purposes of Art, and the journey is worth it. It is an intimate artistic experience that one needs to live in order to understand, also there is an immediacy to the experience that favorizes the opening of our heart’s eye (the intuition) and when that eye is open, when that muscle is trained and trusted, the creative process flows and the coherence of the film is unquestionable. It is not logic we follow, it is the impulse that defies all mental reasoning, we need to jump to discover that we can fly. The intuitive film lab offers that space to explore who we are, in all our colors and scents, and transform it all into a unique audiovisual expression, an expression that is only ours.
Elia El Haddad
Educated, trained, and experienced in Sound Recording, Editing, and Mixing for Cinema, TV, Radio, and Podcast, Elia has worked with several esteemed Directors, production companies, and TV channels on numerous projects ranging from award-winning student films to TV ads, documentaries, and Cinema movies.
I was really impressed by the multiple artistic languages, the spirit, the framing, the editing and the coloring which reflected the soul of the creators and gave each film a unique identity.
On the other hand, the original sound of the films was intuitive and emotional even if they were recorded with basic equipments and sometimes with cellphones. So I felt that my approach needs to follow the spirit of the movies and sometimes even keep some rough edges in the clips. So with a little bit of reordering, tweaking and placing in the mix, I felt that the sound started to contribute more in the buildup and have a real impact on the films.
The overall experience with the live interaction, the back and forth with the artists and the help of the Maestro Muriel, were constructive and helpful. “Less is more”, this is what Muriel was repeating to our hearing and this led, with the open spirit of the artists, to the success of the refinement of the sound tracks, et voilà.
Finally, I hope that this intuitive lab progresses throughout the years and gets to involve more and more honest and pure souls to explore and live this experience.
Elias Nemer is both a scientist and an artist. From an early age having an interest in physics and mathematics, and later delving into the arts as a DJ and Producer. Receiving his film degree from SAE London in 2010, he has been in the industry for 10 years working with renowned directors and filmmakers in all aspects of film making. As an artist he has found himself in color and light, and for the past 4 years has been delving into this field to become the best colorist he can be.
The two days we spent grading was great. The 9 artists were adament to learn and see their films as they had hoped. All the films were a great success in terms of grading and I am very happy to have worked on them. The thing is that these grading sessions were not so locked, but very lucid in terms of creativity, where the looks and feelings of each film were created on spot and this is what lead to all the success we had with the films. Working with Muriel as well was a great joy as she is a true professional.
Adham Al Dimashki
Adham Al Dimashki is a Lebanese visual artist and poet, a university lecturer in art therapy and self-development. His poetry was published in the Arab world and translated into English, French, Armenian, and German. Al Dimashki won several prizes for his work. He is the founder of “Anbar” cultural festival which he hosts in his own house yearly.
The intuitive Film Lab, first experience of its kind in Lebanon and the Arab world, is born in Beirut. Like a flock of pigeons, nine filmmakers have landed on the rooftop of Muriel Aboulrouss, to dig into the Cine-Jam creative process before flying high above their City: Beirut, proud to declare, despite the dusty skies, a Happy Outcome. They left behind the common people in marshy waters, busy with their day to day shores, ruminating artistic productions poisoned by fear. It is true that intuition is a form of innate knowledge that cannot be explained by analytical logic. It is also indisputable that writing about it, is an unavoidable offence. I, Adham Dimashki, find myself responsible of testifying to that experience that I witnessed as the coordinator & an active member of this innovative cinematic journey: the intuitive film lab 2022 where the series Ana was born. I felt that this Film Lab has given back Lebanon a front seat on the artistic creative scene. Lebanon has been liberated from its political & economical alienations during these 6 weekends on Home of Cine-Jam rooftop www.homeofcinejam.com
It all started with « emotions », untold emotions which were the mystery that pushed Aboulrouss to bring her film lab to life. She has been aware since 2012 that analytical logic leads the filmmaking industry to compose a lying discourse through images and sounds, a discourse with an agenda beyond the beauty & necessity of the creative act itself. The Cine-Jam intuitive creative process guides the filmmakers to transcend mental intellectual mechanisms, digging deeper into their emotions & finding in their subconscious mind the unique imagery within them, then they take on the challenge to transform it, using their knowhow and talent, into a short film by trusting the intuitive muscle and surrendering to the process. It is a unique way to manifest what can only be channeled by each and every creator. The films born through this Film lab are far from the sophisticated creations of the mainstream industry. It is an inward meditative journey and an invitation to probe the depth of the Ego, transform them into images and sounds, in a poetic self painting…
Antoine Maksoudian is a Lebanese/Armenian director, writer, and editor. He received a Master’s in film directing in 2019 and then worked for two years as the head of the production department in an agency in Saudi Arabia. He is currently freelancing while simultaneously writing and producing his first independent film.
It’s always a pleasure to work with such a kind-hearted, talented, and professional bunch. Every single one of these artists gave a part of themselves in producing these films and going to the screening to watch the results made me happy and proud to be part of such an honest, brave and hardworking team.
Following my mother’s footsteps, I have developed a passion for cooking and baking.
Making food, whether it is for my family or not, is a process I do with care.
I believe that when you add a bit of love to your food, it instantly becomes better, but don’t tell anyone, that’s my secret ingredient.
I’ve been catering for the intuitive film lab for two years, and it has been a wonderful experience. The feedback was always amazing, and the smiles were above the roof. It was my utmost pleasure to be part of this outstanding team, and it was my honor to feed the artists while they create wonders.
Amgad is an Egyptian graphic designer, with a special focus on digital publishing. He finds it a bit weird to write about himself in the third person so he’s going to keep it short. He is also the co-founder of Jazilan and its resident creative director.