Ben Schwag to run workshop at Jerissa festival

As part of the upcoming Jerissa festival (full name Festival International du film des mines à Djerissa) in Tunisia on 22-24 December 2022, our partner Ben Schwag will be running a workshop for film professionals. Invited by No Boundz, CFT, and IBDAA, his goal is to encourage greater professionalism among young sound engineers and filmmakers entering the profession

Young sound and filmmaking talent in Tunisia is emerging. The “Festival independant du premier film des 2 rives” in Tunis is already in its fourth year. The upcoming Festival international de cinema des mines de Djerissa festival is hosting a special event around the subject of sound in film to be run by Ben (who just happens to have a PhD in Cinematography and Sound Engineering). Ben is a regular visitor to Tunisia, where he has lectured among other places at the CFT academy and overseen a number of productions. He is also a veteran music producer, with credits going back to the eighties, including names such as Curtis Mayfield and Johnny Guitar Watson.

“One of the tragedies of Tunisia is the lack of prospects for its creative youth,” he says. “Rather than creating their own music, cinema and TV shows, they are the passive spectators of other peoples’ dreams. I’d like to help people think again about that.”

A spirit of enterprise

“What I see is that many young people remain unemployed, accept jobs below their skills or emigrate,” says Schwag. Yet other countries have managed to create more positive outcomes for young people in the face of difficult circumstances.

Poster of the Jerissa festival du film des mines

In Europe, despite its lack of natural resources, Ireland has successfully developed knowledge-based sectors – notably music and to a lesser degree cinema. Romania has established itself as production hub and is renowned for its film orchestras. In the middle east, Jordan is now a respected supplier for various productions.

More professional results from a more professional attitude

“Getting young people to achieve more professional results starts with them acquiring a more professional attitude,” he says. This creates ambition and employment, cuts emigration and also helps the existing theatre, cinema and music productions become more competitive on an international level. “We are working with local bodies and professionals to improve the professionalism of music and audio-visual production in Tunisia,” he adds. “The combination of training, contacts with existing professionals, new technology and the support of the festivals and other bodies can lead to a new generation of storytelling in Tunisia.”

Details (in French): Jerissa festival

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