Interview with Hind Shoufani

Filmmaker, writer and wanna be poet


When did you start making films? Is there a specific genre that you are drawn to?

I have made several student films, one feature length film and many commercial short documentaries for companies and TV in the middle East. I am drawn to psychological dramas that use documentary/animation to mix with the fiction narrative. Multimedia influences.


Do you prefer to write and direct your own screenplays or bring another’s script to life?

I prefer to write my own.


You refer to yourself as a “wanna be poet”. How long have you been writing and performing poetry?

Poetry is a hobby that has gotten out of control, but I still like to think of myself as developing although no one is letting me consider it just fun. I have been writing, performing and curating poetry events for 5 years now.


In your opinion, what are the main differences between spoken word and poetry?

Spoken word is meant to be read in direct connection with an audience and its fleeting and causes an immediate visceral reaction and tends to be confessional and activist in nature. Poetry is crafted on the page, for the page, for perusal several times over and uses a lot more complicated imagery and metaphors to retain mystique.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

Sometimes a belly dancer. Sometimes a soldier. Never really decided on anything.


What will you be presenting at this year’s DIPAF?

A multi-media poetic performance related to all the love/hate dynamics of my relationship with Dubai.


Hind has had quite an artistic journey. Here is her third person bio, in Hind’s own words:

Hind Shoufani, a Palestinian filmmaker/writer, born in Lebanon as a refugee in 1978, has lived in many cities in the Middle East. In 2002, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to NYU to obtain a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from Tisch. She currently works in the Middle East region as a director/producer and writer in various fields. She has directed several dramatic shorts and an hour long NYU thesis film titled “Carencia”, produced in 2005. She is the author of two books of poetry titled "More Light than Death Could Bear" and “Inkstains on the Edge of Light”, published by xanadu* and Whole World Press.

For the past 14 years, Hind has worked in various cities as a freelancer in Film/TV/Print media as a writer, producer, director, editor and on-screen reporter.

She is also the founder of the Poeticians collective, where poets from all backgrounds read multilingual spoken word and poetry in Beirut/Dubai.

Hind is currently shooting/directing a feature documentary on her politician/writer father, Dr Elias Shoufani, and his extended Palestinian family in Israel as well as the radical secular leftist factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization heyday in the 1970’s. It is the first Art House film to be made about the PLO. Expected release date for the documentary is spring 2012.

Her narrative feature script “This war on love” is part of the Torino film lab interchange program with the Dubai International Film Festival, and she is a participant in the Dubai Film Connection market for the year 2010. Expected release date of this international love story set in New York, Beirut and Amman is 2013.

She currently is also a freelance director/producer/writer in the UAE and the Arab region at large, working on a variety of event videos, documentaries, TV shows and web episodes.

Recently, Hind has performed spoken word and poetry in Frankfurt, Berlin, Iowa city, Pittsburgh, Washington DC and NYC as well as monthly readings in Dubai.

She is interested in glitter and light, a free and secular Palestine, writing poetry to combat bitterness, female rights and liberties in the Middle East, bonding with like-minded artists all over the world, traveling, reading alone, as well as dancing to sensual music, updating her Poeticians website and hunting for colorful shiny Indian bindis for her forehead in Dubai.