The MDOCS Forum - Keynote Opening Event

Thursday, June 7, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)
Calendar Only Calendar Only
Event Type
Conference
Contact
5274
Department
MDOCS
Link
http://ems.skidmore.edu/MasterCalendar/EventDetails.aspx?EventDetailId=21620

Thursday, June 7 @ 6pm, Payne Room, Tang Museum 

The Director, Cinematographer, and Editor of the new documentary The Feeling of Being Watched, shows clips from and discusses the process of making this highly personal film, which is taking the festival world by storm. In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where director Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” With unprecedented access, The Feeling of Being Watched weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened and takes the FBI to federal court to compel them to make the records they collected about her community public. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. The Feeling of Being Watched follows Assia as she pieces together this secret FBI operation, while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.

ASSIA BOUNDAOUI (Director/Producer) is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for BBC, NPR, AlJazeera, VICE, and CNN and was the recipient of a first place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting in Yemen. She directed a short film on hijabi hair salons for the HBO “LENNY” docu-series, which premiered as an official selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Assia has a Masters degree in journalism from New York University and is fluent in Arabic. THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED is her directorial debut.

SHULING YONG (Director of Photography) is a Singapore-born, Chicago-based documentary filmmaker with a passion for social change. She has worked on films like RADICAL GRACE (2015, dir. Rebecca Parrish), IN TIME TO COME (2017, dir. Tan Pin Pin), and films by the award-winning Chicago media collective Kartemquin Films such as IN THE GAME (2015, dir. Maria Finitzo), and AMERICA TO ME (2018, dir. Steve James). Shuling’s film GROWING ROOTS (2015) premiered on the Discovery Channel. She is now directing her first feature-length documentary, UNTEACHABLE, which was selected for Good Pitch² Southeast Asia 2017 and won Best Pitch at the CNEX Chinese Documentary Film Forum 2017. Shuling is a Kartemquin Films Diverse Voices in Docs Fellow, a participating filmmaker at the BRITDOC Queer Impact Producers Lab, the DocNet Southeast Asia Strategy Workshop and the KOMAS Video For Change Forum.
 
RABAB HAJ YAHYA (Editor) is an Emmy-nominated documentary editor and a Sundance Edit and Story Lab Fellow. Her recent work includes the award-winning feature documentary SPEED SISTERS (HotDocs 2015), LOVE THE SINNER (Tribeca 2017) and the web series THE SECRET LIFE OF MUSLIMS (Peabody Finalist, Vox and USA Today, 2016). Rabab has also edited numerous documentaries commissioned by the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, including ENEMIES OF THE SOUTH (2015), which waThe Director, Cinematographer, and Editor of the new documentary The Feeling of Being Watched, show clips from and discuss the process of making this highly personal film, which is taking the festival world by storm. In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where director Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” With unprecedented access, The Feeling of Being Watched weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened and takes the FBI to federal court to compel them to make the records they collected about her community public. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. The Feeling of Being Watched follows Assia as she pieces together this secret FBI operation, while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.
 
This event is part of the MDOCS Forum - a series of public events combining festival presentations of artistic work with symposium-style conversations around an annual theme. The symposium is free and open to the public.
 
This year, we will engage with the theme Surveil/Surveilled in documentary and analyze documentary as a form of surveillance, consider the ethics and legalities of observing and the vulnerability of being observed, learn how to protect from surveillance, and engage with the documentary material that surveillance systems yield to explore its storytelling and truth telling potentials. 


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