“If you can work without any system of regulation or control, then you can increasingly utilize and develop a fresh mode of cinema.”

Masao Adachi
During six days ten participants coming from different professional backgrounds will learn how to operate super 8 cameras and hand process their own color reversal films. The Workshop is hosted by Beirut Art Center during the exhibition NOW HERE THEN ELSEWHERE by Eric Baudelaire. Film Processing will take place in Mansion where the Laboratory is installed.
The theme of the Color Club Workshop is “Fukeiron” – the cinema of landscape – which is a political element in the cinema of Masao Adachi, a Japanese filmmaker and scriptwriter who was most active in the 60’s and the 70’s. Together with Eric Baudelaire, during the workshop we will screen films of Adachi and discuss his cinematographic philosophy and his belief in the non-existent difference between revolution and cinema. Eric Baudelaire is the director of the film Anabasis, which is based on the cinema of Masao Adachi and his “Fukeiron” technique, which holds that by filming a landscape you frame the political and social history of a place through its physical evolution.
The participants will conceive of a synopsis for a film that they would like to shoot during the workshop, adapting the cinema of landscape and anticipating the final edit of their film during their filming. This is a technique that is used as an exercise for the filmmaker to think his film before shooting and so that he shoots the scenes in the right order. 
Super 8 film cartridges are 3 minutes long at 24 frames per second, so at the end of the workshop we aim to have 10 films of 3 minutes each. Participants are allowed to use up to two cartridges depending on the nature of their film and are allowed to potentially work together. All the films produced during this workshop have to be shot, processed and ready to screen before the sixth day where the participants will host a public screening in Beirut Art Center’s auditorium.
The 27 min produced will then travel to Tokyo as a visual souvenir of Beirut to Masao Adachi. 

Masao Adachi (born May 13, 1939 in Fukuoka Prefecture) is a Japanese screenwriter and director, most active in the 1960s and 70s. Best known for his writing collaborations with directors Kōji Wakamatsu and Nagisa Oshima, he also directed a number of his own films, usually dealing with left-wing political themes. He stopped making films in the early 1970s and joined the Japanese Red Army, an armed militant organization. After living in Lebanon for 28 years, he was arrested for passport violations, and was found in September 2001, receiving a four-year sentence suspended to 18 months. After his release he was deported to Japan via Jordan, where he was re-arrested on other passport violations. After being 
held for a year-and-a-half he was convicted and released based on the time he had already served. Since his release, he has resumed making films after a 30-year absence.


Celluloid acetate is cinema’s most basic tool and has over time proven to be the most reliable image medium. Despite this fact, film material has since the 1970s slowly been replaced by video: initially, in television and the amateur sector, and subsequently in professional cinema production. Thus, analogue film material over the years has moved to a sphere of professionalism and has acquired the attributes of being pricey, complicated or virtually unobtainable. With the infrastructure for processing and postproduction of analogue film having shifted to the professional sector, working with film has become largely inaccessible for amateurs, students, and independent filmmakers or artists. Historically, things have not always been that way. Super 8 film format has persisted since 1965 and has along the way enabled countless amateurs and artists to film and project with a low-cost celluloid image medium. Likewise, 16mm has over decades evolved from a semi-professional film format to the medium of choice for TV reportages and documentaries and eventually became a cheaper alternative to shooting in 35mm for professionals.

Beirut used to be one of the only places in the Middle East that offered services for the processing of Super 8 films through the Kodak Club cine-laboratory, which existed until the late 1980s. Ironically, before being outdone by video, Super 8 processing in Lebanon came to a halt when a grenade hit Kodak’s processing machine during the civil war. Kodak still sells film stocks in Lebanon, and processing facilities for 16 and 35mm film continue to exist, mostly catering for the professional film industry.


Egypt has one of the longest cinema traditions in the world. Cairo was long known as the Eastern Hollywood, but due to both the dilapidation of the infrastructure, the generalized corruption, and the lack of democracy in its contemporary history, the Egyptian cinema has lost most of its creativity, attractiveness and grandeur. Like in Beirut, Cairo had facilities for the processing of small gauge film, and served the needs of filmmakers and amateurs on the African continent. Studios and laboratories were equipped for making 8 and 16 mm films, especially in the documentary field and for amateur filmmakers. A small laboratory was located in downtown Cairo, processing film and providing facilities for this alternative industry. However, in the 1970’s, due to the social and economic changes undergoing in Egypt this expression platform was depleted and the downtown lab was closed by the mid 1970’s.
The cinema histories of Egypt and Lebanon have been inextricably linked. Egypt being a giant film industry for the whole Arab market, and Lebanon, with its air of liberality, being the preferred shooting location for Egyptian productions. The cinema culture in Lebanon was tragically destroyed due to the multiple wars that happened over the last forty years and is slowly getting back together in the last decade. On the other hand the cinema industry in Egypt experienced a different kind of crisis but is still effective and in evolution.

Today, few independent filmmakers, visual artists and amateurs in the two countries and elsewhere in the world continue to use celluloid. With the film industry abandoning its analogue hardware, however, new options have sprung up for those interested in utilizing the specific aesthetics of film. In numerous places around the world, cinema enthusiasts have formed associations in order to collectively work with film, acquire and salvage abandoned hardware, and hand-process their films within a non-commercial structure largely independent of the infrastructure that the film industry provides. The basis of these associations are the production and transfer of knowledge of how to independently work with film, aiming at making the respective techniques re-accessible to a larger number of people worldwide. If organized in a collective, collaborative, and not-for-profit environment, the critical attributes that working with film has acquired can be overcome and film practice can be located in a sphere of handicraft rather than in one of industry.

A workshop on handmade film practices, as proposed in this project, will help to make working on film re-accessible in Lebanon through a close partnership with the Cimathèque, a newly established laboratory association in Cairo. Following a basic training of four Lebanese participants in Cairo, the week-long workshop in Beirut will not focus on matters of aesthetics and content but rather on the technical, material and economical aspects of working with film, with the intention of sharing the knowledge that is needed to be able to autonomously continue this work after the workshop has ended. It shall enable its participants to learn the basic principles and techniques of working with Super 8 and 16mm film: from the handling of cameras and the specifics of reversal film stock to shooting, hand-processing, editing and projecting. Each participant shall produce one silent short film on either Super 8 or 16mm during the workshop, which will be shown at a public screening on the last day of the workshop.
This “Extension” is part of ANALOGUE ZONES, a collaborative exchange project between Cimathèque Cairo and the two independent film laboratories LaborBerlin and Laba Athens. Following the establishment of a self-organized laboratory within the Cimathèque Cairo and the training of several Cairenes in the art and technique of working with Super 8 and 16mm film, the extension to Beirut aims at a close exchange and knowledge transfer between Egypt and Lebanon. 




Projecting towards a possible future is a presentation of the outcome of a first
research based collection on analogue film practice in Beirut.
Filmmakers Siska (Beirut / Berlin) and Philip Widmann (Berlin) gathered information on the
former Kodak laboratory for Super 8 and 16mm films that was shut down
during the civil war.

This glimpse into the infrastructure of private film production in Lebanon aims
at a possible re installation of a film laboratory for amateur formats in Beirut.
Drawing on models of self-organized, artist-run and non-profit laboratories for
hand-processing and experimenting with Super 8 and 16mm existing in
Europe, the Americas, and Asia, Projecting Towards a Possible Future is
an exploration of the possibilities to create a space in Beirut for the work with
film as handicraft.

The presentation took place in 98 weeks project space Beirut
 from April 29th till the 1st of May 2011