Category: Films

2016 BAFTA Nomination

A Syrian Love Story has been nominated for ‘Outstanding Debut’ at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) to be held on Sunday 14 February at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD, preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.

See the full BAFTA nomination list.

3rd Best UK Film 2015

The Guardian: The 50 best films of 2015 in the UK – No 3: A Syrian Love Story

Continuing our countdown of the best movies released in the UK this year, we applaud the heartbreaking story of a couple whose relationship disintegrates as they flee the horrors of Syria

The tragic urgency of Sean McAllister’s superlative documentary A Syrian Love Story has been renewed by events, now that the British Parliament has given the go-ahead for RAF Tornadoes to join bombing raids on Isis positions in Syria. How many refugees will be created by this? Will the UK be liable to take in more refugees in proportion to our participation in bombing? This is the new political context for McAllister’s uniquely powerful film.

See the full article by Peter Bradshaw on The Guardian website

City Times

Directors Matt Brown, Sean McAllister talk films

So what makes a story good enough to leave the pages of a book, to take the conversations of ordinary people from reality to film? We spoke to the two directors to get their insights on the process of filmmaking.

Matt Brown is the director of The Man Who Knew Infinity starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons. The film tells the real story of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. From living in poverty in Madras, India, he earns admittance to Cambridge University during WWI where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G.H. Hardy. The story analyses relationship between Ramanujan and Hardy and their different viewpoints of the world.

Sean McAllister is a documentary film maker whose latest film A Syrian Love Story has been getting much acclaim. Filmed over 5 years, the story charts the compelling relationship of Ragahd and Amir who met in prison and fell in love. Sean guides the viewers through their story as the Syrian revolution is on the brink of eruption while the family escapes to Europe and their marriage, family and love is tested to its limits.

See the full article on the City Times website

The National

Labour of love: Director Sean McAllister reveals heartache behind A Syrian Love Story

In 2009, British filmmaker Sean McAllister planned to shoot a documentary about revolutionary stirrings in Syria, at a time before most his countrymen had heard of – or cared about – what was happening in Damascus.

But after six years of filming, what he ended up with was A Syrian Love Story, a candid record of the experiences of a couple and their children as the civil war erupted and they became refugees in Europe. The couple, Amer Daoud and Raghda Hassan, at first are very much in love but are slowly torn apart as they are haunted by memories from a homeland they can’t forget.

Read the full article on the www.thenational.ae website

Outlook

Syria: A Portrait of a Marriage

“We bring you the turbulent story of two political activists in Syria. They fell in love in prison, married and had children. But living under war and repression eventually tore their marriage apart. They are the subject of a new film by the award-winning British documentary maker Sean McAllister. He has been making films about the Arab world for over 20 years. In 2009 – two years before the start of the uprising in Syria – he went to Damascus to find subjects for a new project.”

Listen to Sean and Amer discussing the background to and filming of A Syrian Love Story on BBC World Service, Outlook – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p032r306

Film of the Week

A Syrian Love Story

McAllister here conjures a mosaic of footage which can be variously read as hidden-camera investigation, socio-political treatise, fly-on-the-wall family drama, proto-feminist case study, and (most affectingly) child’s-eye view of adult trauma.

This is a profoundly moving account of two love stories: that between the film’s central couple, Amer and Raghda, who are torn apart by imprisonment and exile; the other being their love for Syria, which casts a long shadow over their lives, their marriage and their children.

See the complete review by Mark Kermode in the Guardian website

Morning Star

A Syrian Love Story

This heart-wrenching film gives an idea of the human cost of seeking asylum in Western Europe

AS WE continue to witness the worst refugee crisis since WWII, this powerful documentary by Sean McAllister puts a human face on the issue as it recounts the personal cost to one Syrian family. When the British film-maker first met Amer in 2009 in Syria, just before the Arab spring, his wife Raghda was a political prisoner while he was caring for their four sons alone. Filmed over the following five years, the film tells the poignant story of how they were torn apart by events and the untold pressures which affected their family and marriage.

See the complete review by Maria Duarte in the Morning Star