documentaries as an emerging vehicle for storytelling in the arab world

Until recently, documentaries were often regarded as inferior to their big-budget, mainstream, fictional counterparts. They were often thought to be relegated to wildlife films of little interest to broad based audiences. This perception has changed globally, with more audiences giving credence to the non-fiction genre and an increasing number of film festivals providing a platform for documentary screenings. Documentary films typically emphasise an issue that is regarded as a “special interest” – for example environmental or political, or they focus on issues impacting societies in different countries. The filming style tends to be less “polished” than that of mainstream productions, although this is not always the case. The genre is often used to highlight issues that might otherwise not have received in-depth coverage in mainstream media. It serves to provide more than a passing glimpse into an issue, trend or topic of some importance.

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