Tag Archives: STIFF

Witness Bahrain honored with Audience Award at STIFF

Dear friends,

What a weekend.

Witness Bahrain premiered at the Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival to two sold-out audiences.

–Charles Mudede of The Stranger (Seattle’s preeminent alternative weekly newspaper called it “one of the best documentaries I have seen this year” and said the film is “fearless, insightful, and has a big heart for those who are in this long but beautiful struggle.” (Full review below.)

–Before both screenings, we hosted a photo exhibit of Bahraini child prisoners, courtesy of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain. And, a lively discussion/Q&A was held after both screenings with Witness Bahrain Co-Producer Nada Alwadi, Director/Producer Jen Marlowe and donkeysaddle projects Project Manager Amer Shurrab.

–Mike McCormick interviewed Nada Alwadi and Jen Marlowe about the film and the freedom struggle in Bahrain on KEXP’s Mind Over Matter. (Link to interview here.)

Hedgebrook hosted a Tweet Chat about the film, and about Bahrain with Nada and Jen. You can read the transcript here.

–And, to top it all off–Witness Bahrain received the Audience Award at STIFF.

It is tremendously exciting that Witness Bahrain was recognized with this award right out the gate.  But, the credit for this award goes to the audience. We are so moved by how many of you came out, supported, and showed enthusiasm for this film and, most importantly, for the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights in Bahrain.

We hope that many many more of you will have the opportunity to see the film in the months to come. If you want to help organize a community screening, please contact Amer Shurrab. And, you can support the film’s ability to screen world-wide by clicking here.

In solidarity, and with gratitude,
Jen Marlowe, Director/Producer, Witness Bahrain
Amer Shurrab, Project Manager, donkeysaddle projects

Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg
Blog: View from the donkey’s saddle

Photo 1: Review of Witness Bahrain in The Stranger
Photo 2: Amer, Jen and Nada after the premiere at STIFF


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Tweet Chat today for #WitnessBahrain! (3pm PST/6pm EST)

Dear friends,ali looking up

Tonight and tomorrow night, at the Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival, my documentary film Witness Bahrain will be premiering.

For those of you in Seattle, I hope you will join me tonight at 8pm at the Grand Illusion Cinema, or tomorrow night at 6pm at the Lucid Lounge to watch the film and to participate in the post-screening Q&A with myself, Bahraini Co-Producer Nada Alwadi, and Project Manager for donkeysaddle projects, Amer Shurrab. (Though officially sold out, the Festival is releasing some extra tickets, so you can get them at the door!)

For those of you NOT in Seattle, you have a unique opportunity to participate in the conversation around the film by taking part in a Tweet Chat today at 3pmPST/6pmEST. Hosted by Hedgebrook, this TweetChat is an opportunity to ask questions of Nada and myself: about the film, about the ongoing repression happening in Bahrain, about the connection between the regime in Bahrain and the U.S. government.

Just use the hashtag #WitnessBahrain to follow and participate in the discussion!

I’m so very glad to be finally sharing with the world the stories of the inspiring Bahrainis that I met, struggling for democracy and human rights in the face of great repression and brutality.

Hope to see you online today at the TweetChat, and the premiere screenings tonight!

In solidarity with all those struggling for basic human rights,

Jen Marlowe

Director/Producer, Witness Bahrain

(BTW–watch our trailer here!)

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Exciting updates about WITNESS BAHRAIN World Premiere at STIFF!

Dear friends,Witness Bahrain Poster LoRes

The World Premiere of Witness Bahrain  at Seattle’s Transmedia and Independent Film Festival is just a week away, and I am so looking forward to sharing the film with you!

Here are some exciting updates about the premiere:

–The first screening sold out days after tickets went on sale, and the second screening that was added (Friday May 8, 6pm at the Lucid Lounge) is on its way to selling out as well! DON’T WAIT! BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

The Seattle Times AND the Seattle Weekly named Witness Bahrain as one of the highlights of the STIFF Festival!

Nada Alwadi, Bahraini journalist and co-producer of Witness Bahrain, will be at the premiere, and joining me for the post-screening Q&A. Nada was arrested by the Bahraini regime shortly after the uprising and had to flee the country. This will be a rare opportunity to hear directly from a Bahraini about the uprising and the subsequent repression.

Amer Shurrab, the new Project Manager at donkeysaddle projects will be at the premiere as well. I am delighted to be able to introduce Amer to donkeysaddle projects‘ Seattle community, and for you to hear a bit from him about what donkeysaddle projects has planned in the coming months.

–A moving exhibit of letters from children prisoners in Bahrain, along with their photographs, will be displayed in the lobby of the cinemas, courtesy of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain.

I’m so glad that Witness Bahrain is going to be shared with you.  Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini human rights advocate who is featured in the film, was recently re-arrested by the Bahraini regime and faces an unknown amount of time back in prison. Nabeel’s arrest underscores the importance and timeliness of this film. I hope Witness Bahrain will draw some critically needed attention to the ongoing repression taking place in this small Gulf nation, home of the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet—repression that the U.S. government is tacitly supporting.

See you at the premiere!

With excitement,

Jen Marlowe

Event info:

Thurs May 7 at 8:00pm (sold out)

The Grand Illusion Cinema, 1403 NE 50th St. Seattle, WA 98105

(PS–If you have tickets for the Thurs screening but would rather go Friday, or vice versa, email me ASAP. I may be able to facilitate some sort of exchange.)

Fri May 8 at 6:00pm (less than 20 tickets left)

Lucid Lounge, 5241 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

About the film:

Witness Bahrain is a piercing look into Bahrain two years after the Arab Spring, and documents a reality that is as relevant (and as under-covered) today as when filmmaker Jen Marlowe was shooting the film. The film uncovers stories of doctors arrested and tortured for treating wounded protesters, nurses caring for injured youth at underground clinics, and children who were killed or arrested by riot police. Marlowe also filmed while hiding upstairs in the home of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab as the police came to take him to prison because of Tweets he sent that the regime objected to. (Rajab was just re-arrested weeks ago, again for his Tweets.)

The government of Bahrain is denying entry to all but a few journalists and human rights defenders, so Marlowe had to enter the country under false pretenses and film clandestinely, and was ultimately deported by the Bahraini regime. The result is a one-hour documentary film cut from guerrilla style footage shot with a small, hand held camera, capturing the most intimate, in-depth portrayal of the Bahraini government’s violent repression of Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement to date.

 Film trailer available here: https://vimeo.com/124181698

Witness Bahrain is produced by donkeysaddle projects, and co-sponsored by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Donkeysaddle projects is partnering with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain to promote the film.

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