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"Per realizzare un documentario bisogna essere poliedrici, ma ciò che spicca è la sua proprietà terapeutica"

Rapporto industria: Documentario

Shaima Al-Tamimi • Produttrice


La produttrice del Qatar, Paese ospite dell'edizione di quest'anno, spiega perché la produzione di documentari è per lei un percorso profondamente personale

Shaima Al-Tamimi  • Produttrice

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

An interview with Shaima Al-Tamimi, producer from Qatar, now selected for the 2024 Emerging Producers programme. Read her EP profile here.

Why do you produce documentaries? Do you see documentary cinema as an instrument of social and political change?
Shaima Al-Tamimi: 
Producing documentaries for me is a deeply personal journey. I gravitate towards projects that resonate with my own experiences, often addressing unresolved traumas that linger beneath the surface. The process of making documentaries requires wearing various hats, but what stands out is its therapeutic quality. Storytelling becomes a means of confronting and processing emotions, offering both myself and the audience a chance to engage with narratives that might be otherwise overlooked. The empathy generated through these stories has the potential to inspire change and foster a more compassionate society.

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How do you achieve and maintain work-life balance and foster overall well-being?
The film industry's intensity often leaves little room for personal time, but understanding the significance of well-being is crucial. Juggling a full-time job while producing feature films on the side requires constant effort to stay on top of things and I will not lie. It is very hard considering the economy and our mental health! However, I consciously set aside weekends or a few days off to completely detach every once in a while. This allows me to come back to the project with some detachment and a fresh pair of eyes, which is very important.

Where do you find audiences for your films?
My approach to finding audiences for my films is rooted in a sense of community and shared experiences. I consider myself the first audience for my work, connecting intimately with the narratives I bring to life. Beyond that, my primary focus is on reaching out to my community. The themes in my films often arise from collective traumas or struggles within my community, making it imperative to dedicate my work to them first. While the themes of trauma may be universal, the resonance is heightened when tailored to the specific local and cultural nuances of the societies I depict.

What projects do you have underway (including fiction films and other projects)?
Currently, I am immersed in the production and co-direction of our first feature film, The Myth of Mahmoud, alongside my co-director Mayar Hamdan. We are at the 80% mark in production and have transitioned into post-production to assess and fine-tune certain plotlines. This process involves a meticulous examination of the narrative structure, allowing us to reverse engineer elements that need refinement. Beyond this feature film, I am consistently exploring new avenues for storytelling. The intersection of fiction and reality remains a captivating space for me, and I am open to diverse projects that allow me to delve into uncharted territories.


EMERGING PRODUCERS is a leading promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the EMERGING PRODUCERS 2025 edition is 31st March 2024.

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