Be it a film talk or a panel discussion, be it in a local cultural venue or at an international film festival, I am happy to guide the audience through your program.
The examples below reflect the thematic spectrum of my moderations as well as the different forms and spaces of the events. Moreover I often moderate talks in the programs I curate.
Sanad Meet-Ups | Profession: Freelance Artist
Nawras Berlin / Germany (Online Session) 2020
Sanad Meet-ups are a series of public gatherings which aim to enhance the practical knowledge of artists and cultural practitioners who are moving from the Arab region to Germany. The series provides practical guidance about the rights of art producers in Germany and introduce participants to the laws which affect them and their professional art environments, with guidance from legal experts and specialised institutions. Sanad was launched in Lebanon by Ettijahat in 2019 in partnership with the non-governmental organisation Legal Agenda and with the support of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung with the aim of enabling artists to adapt to their new environments and develop their capacities for self-organisation. The series of meet-ups is held in Germany in partnership with Nawras and the International Alumni Center (German/Arabic). More
The Final Stages: Viewership, Censorship and Distribution
The Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar 2019
How do you distribute films without cinemas? What is the danger of being limited to the festival circuit? What can film festivals offer beyond distribution? Who censors? How do you secure a market for your film? How do you get distributors on board? And when is the right time to do this?
These are by no means clear-cut and transparent questions—even to members of the film industry.
Join Arab film distributor Irit Neidhardt in discussion with a panel of creatives and practitioners as they try to shed light on the topics from multiple perspectives, including those of a Qatari filmmaker, film festival director, and international filmmaker. continue | watch the panel on video
HEIM - Stage reading of TV series script with Ursula Strauss and Jesse Albert. Discussion with Liwaa Yazji and Mohammad Abu Laban.
at the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund | Cologne in the Focus: ABOUT GERMANY, Altes Pfandhaus, Cologne / Germany 2018
"Heim" is the new Arab Germanism for refugee centre. After moving to Berlin at the end of 2015, Liwaa Yazji and Mohammad Abu Laban (together with David Hermann) wrote the script for a TV-series, their first episodic drama to be produced in Germany.
What does it mean to transfer familiar work to a new environment? How is research carried out? Who is the series written for? Does production in Germany mean the film addresses a German audience? What limitations does an author face when he is not yet familiar with the new system, and what freedoms result from this situation? More
From Karl-Marx-Stadt to the Middle East: „Fitting Work in Syria“
at the Retrospective of Filmfest Dresden / Germany 2017
Guiding through the program and moderating the conversation with veteran film-maker Winfried Junge
Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees here, it seems that Germany has become closely connected with Syria. Yet in fact the relations between the two countries extend far further back and have been marked by the most diverse economic and political interests for many decades now. For the East German GDR especially, the Middle East played an essential role in the process of it gaining diplomatic recognition. The retrospective at FILMFEST DRESDEN, which focuses anew each year on aspects of the film heritage of the GDR and the former Eastern Bloc states, is retracing these relations from a film-history perspective for the first time ever and, at the same time, providing some insights into the more recent history of Syria. For the selection, the focus was solely on cinema-release documentary productions and is limited to the period from 1955 to 1980. continue (PDF)
Film Talk: My Name is Not Ali
at the Arab Film Series: Part of Black History Month, Werkstatt der Kulturen Berlin / Germany 2017
the Q&A with director Viola Shafik and Renate Leiffer, assistant director to Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder’s ANGST ESSEN SEELE AUF (1974) was ahead of its time in highlighting xenophobia in the Federal Republic of Germany. Fassbinder’s partner at the time, Mohamed El Hedi Ben Salem, played the role of the migrant worker, Ali. Travelling between Germany, France and Morocco, Viola Shafik reconstructs and deconstructs the unknown life story of El Hedi Ben Salem through interviews with his companions and family members as well as archive material. Continue
Uncertain States: Goethe Institute Damascus | In Exil
Syrian film evening in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut, Academy of Arts Berlin / Germany 2016
Documentary film Haunted by Liwaa Yazji, Syria 2014, 112 min., Arabic with English ST
Followed by a discussion with Liwaa Yazji on dealing with images, and the function and significance of personal and political documentary observations in war zones. Presentation: Irit Neidhardt.
Glow of Memory. Retrospective of German-PLO cooperation in film-making
Days of Cinema Ramallah / Jerusalem / Bethlehem - Palestine 2016
The PLO’s film-making was a work in exile. Different ways of collaboration with befriended states, organizations or comrades were necessary for the production and distribution of the works. Some films were credited as PLO productions, other were not. The reason for the missing credit often is simply that until the end of the 1990s it was not common to mention the financer of a film. Because of the Palestinian conditions this makes it difficult to trace and define the film heritage though. More
Screening and talk with Kais al-Zubaidi
in the discourse program of the exhibition: Past Disquiet. Narratives and Ghosts from the International Art Exhibition for Palestine 1978, House of World Cultures Berlin / Germany 2016
The Iraqi filmmaker, film editor and archivist Kais al-Zubaidi worked as a director in Syria following his training in Babelsberg. Today he lives in Berlin and supervises the establishment of a national Palestine archive.
Moderation: Irit Neidhardt
ALFILM Arab Film Festival Berlin 2016 (Photo: ALFILM)
Arab Jews in postcolonial cultural discourse – who is representing whom?
Spotlight 2016: Cousins. Jewish-Arab identities in postcolonial cultural discourse, 7th ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin / Germany 2016
Artistic involvement with the multi-ethnic and multi-religious history of the Arab World has been on the rise over the past years, with a growing presence in cinema, literature and popular culture. For instance, it has been depicted in last year’s star-studded prime time TV show The Jewish Quarter, which was screened during the Ramadan. Continue | watch video
Dubai Film Market 2014 (Photo: Dubai International Film Festival)
Co-production means business
in the section “Forum” des Dubai Film Market, Dubai International Film Festival 2014
Discover the latest co-production treaties, incentives and tax credits that make co-producing such an important lifeline for the film industry. Gain first-hand insight from international experts on structuring a co-production, working with peers from around the world and go global.
Panelists: Guneet Monga, CEO & Producer, Sikhya Entertainment; Sabine Sidawi, Producer, Orjouane Productions; Laurent Lavolé, Manager, Gloria Films; Bero Beyer, Producer, Augustus Film; Christine Kopf, Curator, Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung; Moderator: Irit Neidhardt , Director, mec film.
More | watch video
International Solidarity. The PLO in the GDR
Filmmuseum Potsdam / Germany 2014
The GDR and the PLO maintained diplomatic relations. This is mirrored as well in a number of Palestinian students at the University for Film Art Potsdam-Babelsberg, today's Film University, as well as in the program of the Leipzig International Filmweek for Documentary and Short Film.
Film program (1966-1985) DDR/PLO, ca. 45‘
Guests: Film-makers Kaiss Al-Zubaidi and Marwan Salamah, Ronald Trisch (previous festival director of DOK Leipzig), Moderation: Irit Neidhardt (mec film)
More online | PDF (in German)
Counter Narratives 1: Samer Yazbek Interviewed by Rania Stephan, followed by a conversation with Rania Stephan and Irit Neidhardt on filming and writing
Berlinale Forum Expanded Think:Film No.2 2014 / germany 2014
In her video Rania Stephan reflects on the difficulty of conducting an interview, while the Syrian writer and activist Samar Yazbek speaks about writing and images, life and death in the time of revolution, and the experience of exile.
On the Readability of Political Positions in Egyptian Cinema
In the discourse program of the exhibition: InSearch OfEurope, Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien Berlin Germany 2013
Film screening ‘Terror and Kebab’ (Egypt 1992, Arabic with German subtitles) followed by a discussion by: Fadi Abdelnour (ALFILM), Bettina Gräf (ZMO Berlin); Introduction and moderation: Irit Neidhardt (mec film).
Sheri Arafa's movie Terror and Kebab (al-Irhab wal Kabab, EG, 1992, 105’) tells the story of a low-ranking public servant in Cairo. After failing to submit his application because of the obstacles of Egyptian bureaucracy and as consequence of the permanent praying of the authorized officer he freaks out and starts a revolt. In the Arab world the film had an audience of millions and belongs to one of the most successful Egyptian movies ever. It was even running in US-American cinemas and was much noticed in analyses by film scholars, which was quite unusual for commercial films. Continue reading | watch video (German)
Film Talk: The Turtle's Rage
At the documentary film festival: DOK.fest Munich, Markuskriche Munich / Germany 2012
with the director Pary el Qalqili, author Silvia Wolkan, editor Ulrike Tortora and the protagonist Mousa El-Qalqili; a co-operation of DOK.fest and evangelische Stadtakademie
"What does a child make of her parents’ life story?" Pary El-Qalqili has turned her father’s into a film. Since he returned to Germany from Palestine 12 years ago, he has sat in their cellar, withdrawn into his shell like a tortoise. His daughter wants to know what he’s been through. She doesn’t want to take things casually; instead she wants to learn about how he fled to Germany in 1961, worked on a series of building sites and eventually married her mother.
The Turtle's Rage follows the fate of a refugee who cannot find peace and is also a film about a father and a daughter who must learn about the past in order to live in the present (text: Jette Mehlberg). More