The Cinematography Podcast Sundance 2022 Special: Sirens
Sirens is an intimate coming of age documentary focused on Lilas Mayassi and Shery Bechara, guitarists and co-founders of Slave to Sirens, the Middle East’s first all-female thrash metal band. The documentary follows the band as they rehearse and play concerts, rebelling against the country’s criticisms and stereotypes about women and heavy metal music. The relationships between bandmates is complicated, but they find an outlet in their music amid violent protests, fires and bombings in Beirut, Lebanon.
Documentarian Rita Baghdadi had set out to find a story based in the Middle East or North Africa because her family background is Morrocan. In 2018 she found Slave to Sirens’ EP online, saw photos of the band, and felt drawn to tell a story about the five women. The band was looking for press opportunities, and they welcomed Rita and her camera. None of them, including Rita, were sure Sirens would become a feature length documentary. Rita made several trips to Beirut from the U.S. to shoot and direct the documentary on her own, with just one camera, over a period of three years. She enjoys making intimate verite films, and unobtrusively focuses on the emotions in each scene. Rita was able to spend enough time with the band to weave a compelling documentary about independent women in the agony and ecstasy of their 20’s, creating their own world to escape the chaos of their reality.
Sirens premiered at the Sundance 2022 Film Festival and is seeking sales and distribution.
Find director Rita Baghdadi http://www.ritabaghdadi.com/
Find the band, Slave to Sirens: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9EMD9pTtjJ4P1p7b2V4j2w
Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com
The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com