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Syrian Refugees: talented Khamis paves own way in filmmaking

Syrian Refugees | 2018-09-19 16:36:00
Syrian Refugees: talented Khamis paves own way in filmmaking

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Syrian-Palestinian refugee, Mohammed Khamis has managed to prove his brilliance among the documentary filmmakers in Sweden and to be creative in a field that is known to require a high level of proficiency, craftsmanship and technicality without having studied this art in any institution or university.  

Khamis’ passion for the cinema started since the age of thirteen, when he started practicing on montage and Photoshop programs trying to put together clips of different products. After the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011, he wanted to convey the reality of the painful events that were taking place by making short videos and presenting them through "Social Media" and social networking sites. His work received much acclaim and success, which gave him moral impetus and drive to further produce new art works. 

Khamis, 24, told Zaman al-Wasl that he has made two documentary films in Syria; the first is called “the letter that never dies” in which he dealt with the educational process in the camp, "Yarmouk» for Palestinian refugees in rural Damascus. This documentary  highlights the hardships of students who are suffering from being under siege, from hunger and daily bombardments, but who are, nevertheless, still holding on to finishing their studies and are still hopeful about life itself. 

Khamis's second film was entitled "Strings of Hope" which he considers to be one of his most significant works. The film was filmed from inside the Yarmouk refugee camp, in cooperation with a group of young men, including the photographer Ahmad Abbasi, who was besieged in the worst conditions imagined and raised from there the idea of his children’s return from the new diasporic country. 

With the start of the Syrian revolution, the young director and his family preferred to leave Khan al-Sheih camp in 2012 and move to Lebanon and from there to Sweden in a journey fraught with the horrors of death, fear and terror.

Following his settlement Landskrona, Khamis continued to make films about the Palestinian refugees in the camps, especially the Yarmouk Camp in southern Damascus. He joined the “generational institution of documentation and studies” as a production officer. 

The young producer in his twenties completed a film called “my journey” that highlights the dangers to which refugees are subjected during the death journey. As well as a film entitled “Give Us Childhood”, which highlights children as the most affected victims of the war.

His last latest film is a short documentary entitled "Towards Success" in which he tackles the Yarmouk catastrophe and the specificities of emigration to Europe. An interview with the visual artist ‘Yahya Ashmawi" from the sons of "Yarmouk" in which he narrates his experience, infiltrates his documentary. 

The film showed the drawings which he had painted on the camp walls. Khamis pointed out that the film was accepted at the Italian Film Festival next year, and was also screened at the Festival of Short Films in Cairo called “Visions” last April. He also pointed out that the movie is scheduled to be screened on Swedish TV twice a week. Following this incredible success, a Swedish newspaper named Khamis "The Little Director". 

Khamis is now preparing a short drama written by the Syrian writer Rima Mar, entitled "T-shirt"; and it is the first drama film that he shoots in Sweden. 

By Faris al-Rifai
Zaman Al Wasl
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