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October 30, 2004

Control Room

Jehane Noujaim began as a photographer and filmmaker in Cairo, Egypt, where she grew up. She moved to Boston in 1990, where she attended Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude in Visual Arts and Philosophy in 1996. Earlier that year, Noujaim was awarded the Gardiner fellowship under which she directed Mokattam, an Arabic film about an Egyptian garbage collecting village. She then joined the MTV News and Documentary division as a producer for the documentary series, Unfiltered. Noujaim left her producing job at MTV to produce and direct Startup.com in association with Pennebaker Hedgedus Films. The feature length, highly acclaimed documentary has won numerous distinguished awards including the DGA and IDA Awards for best documentary. She has since worked in both the Middle East and the US as a director and cinematographer on various documentaries including Born Rich, Only the Strong Survive, and Down from the Mountain.

This screening is co-presented with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.

PLEASE NOTE: Jehane Noujaim will not be attending this screening as previously advertised. We apologize for any inconvenience this presents. We will be selling tickets for this film at the door, one half hour prior to the screening time. No advance tickets will be sold. Thank you.


October 30 (Saturday) 2 pm

Control Room

Directed by Jehane Noujaim
US, 2004, color, 83 min.
English and Arabic with English subtitles

With over 40 million viewers, the Al Jazeera network was established in 1996 with the goal of providing an independent media voice for the Arab-speaking world. Branded as “Osama Bin-Laden’s mouthpiece,” the network has been roundly criticized in the Western world for its Arab nationalist biases. As the U.S was on the verge of its recent invasion of Iraq and working fastidiously to control the messages that would be sent from the frontline, director Jehane Noujaim (Startup.com) set up camp in the media enclave of Doha, Qatar to dissect the imminent collision between Pentagon officials and a press which questioned their motives. In the tradition of D.A. Pennebaker (who served as producer on her previous film), Noujaim employs an observational style to document the inner workings of this controversial media outlet.

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