Born in 1986 and raised throughout the Persian-Arabian Gulf, Syrian-Canadian filmmaker Amar Chebib grew up with a deep fascination in consciousness, culture, and the ability of film to convey the human experience. He graduated from the Vancouver Film School in 2006 and since then has worked on numerous projects. His last controversial short film “Mish Mush” shot in Damascus, received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, was nominated for the Muhr Award for Excellence in Arab Cinema, won Best International Short Drama at Illinois and Rumschpringe International Film Festivals and was an official selection at many more. Amar is currently based in Vancouver, Canada where he continues to work with Dima (under their production company Salam Films) on socially, politically and spiritually conscious films. WAJD: Music, Politics, & Ecstasy is his first feature-length documentary film.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, experienced Palestinian/Kuwaiti filmmaker Dima Alansari has trained in number of different art disciplines including dance, theatre and film. She obtained her BA in Communication Arts for Radio/TV/Film/Theatre from the Lebanese American University and a diploma from the New York Film Academy from King’s College London. She continued her studies with a Chevening Scholarship to obtain an MA in Feature Film from Goldsmith College, University of London. With over 10 years experience in the TV & film industry in Kuwait, Lebanon, Dubai, she was also the General Manager/Executive Producer for one of the leading film investment and production companies in the Arabian Gulf, Desert Door Productions. Dima has produced numerous projects, including the documentary ‘Storm from the South’, nominated for the Muhr Award for Excellence in Arab Cinema
, and National Geographic’s internationally acclaimed ‘Journey to Mecca’, an IMAX feature-length docudrama. Dima now lives and creates in Vancouver, Canada with her friend and business partner Amar, under their production company Salam Films
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Patricia’s early and ongoing curiosity to delve deep into understanding what makes people tick led her on a path into documentary filmmaking and journalism. She completed a BHSc. in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University in 2007, followed by a Master of Journalism at Ryerson University in 2010. She has since worked in the areas of social change and multimedia, including nearly two years as a producer at Agentic Digital Media. She was selected to participate in DOXA’s Kris Anderson Connexions program for emerging young women in documentary filmmaking in 2011 and spent several months in Palestine/Israel between 2009-2012 exploring the intersections between top-down and bottom-up peacemaking. Patricia currently works as a generative journalist with Axiom News in Vancouver, Canada.
A native of Quebec, Nathaniel studied Fine Art at Concordia University and has since explored many different art disciplines. His principle work is in nightscape photography, however he is also a talented musician. He travelled to Syria and Turkey with Amar to study music and help with production of the film. Nathaniel currently resides in Kelowna, BC where continues to play music and shoot night-photos of British Columbia’s diverse landscapes.
When Jeremy was four, he would play his violin on the Vancouver dock for the seals. They would come, poke their heads up, watch and listen. Jeremy’s love for music took him to Havana to explore Afro-Cuban percussion, and to Turkey, where he lived and studied ney (reed flute) for eight years. Jeremy got involved with Vancouver’s film scene once he returned to the city in 2010. He worked on The Dancing Cop, directed by Kelvin Redvers
, 2012, which screened at TIFF and was recently bought by APTN. He also studied Sound for Film at SFU and later collaborated with his instructor, Murray Stiller
. They were together nominated for a Leo Award for outstanding achievement in sound editing and worked on the award-winning feature documentary Hellbound?
which received wide distribution throughout the USA and Canada in 2012.