Shashati Variety Show Invades The Citadel

الإثنين 25 آب 2008

Written By: Ramsey Tesdell
Photos By: Naseem Tarawnah

Following the lead of American Presidential candidate Barack Obama, another event took place at the Citadel in Jabal Hussein in East Amman.

An eclectic and well-dressed group of Ammanis joined Wonho Chung for an evening of variety show-like material. The show, presented by Shashati.TV, was a mix of stand up comedy, video clips, and cartoons produced by Jordanian media companies. Shashati.TV is a new website to help Arab filmmakers get in touch with each other. They are asking for content, good or bad content; Shashati.TV seems like it is trying to be the deviantArt of Arab film. A noble quest in my opinion.

It goes like this: you join the community by posting videos, leaving comments, joining conversations and learning about film related news. In the mean time, you meet new people and hopefully collaborate with others in your projects. It is an interesting concept, and a well-organized team.

The show presented Wonderful Life, produced by Shashati.TV, a comedic-musical that tells the story of a couple with marriage difficulties. They seek the guidance of a therapist, who they find out, has his own serious problems. The film was presented in painfully American-English with small Arabic subtitles.

Bedouin-techno dances may have been a bit new for most of the audience, and the constant switching between Arabic and English presentations left some of us personally dizzy. However, in between the presentation of videos, 3alarasi.com and GroundZero showcased their own comedic content to the well-attended crowd. For me, these cartoons and dubbed American movie clips were the highlight of the show. 3alarasi.com was simple, funny, and entertaining, and it is always good to see American movies get re-dubbed with Arab humor.

The location was a particularly interesting choice, with Disney movie songs and 70’s dance hits blasting from the stage and the ancient Roman ruins, covered in fuchsia lights, sitting innocently off to the side.

Shashati.TV is an interesting concept and something the Arab cinema tribe needs – a council of elders, except in digital format. The website hopes to become the community space for filmmakers. I just hope it lives up to the impressive standard it kicked off with.