We had the good fortune of connecting with Fady Jeanbart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fady, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
Creativity and inspiration come from living life and going through its journey. These poetic moments and ideas need knowledge, education, and leaders. Equally important, is a safe space for nurturing freedom of thought; a place that does not judge you but instead encourages you to reach beyond what’s expected and create art that inspires an audience to consider the validity behind how we live our lives.
As an immigrant Egyptian filmmaker living in Los Angeles, I often find myself searching for forums that will give me a chance to have a voice. Since I graduated from film school 4 years ago, I have been working in the filmmaking industry, exploring the art of film through its different mediums, such as screenwriting and directing, and cultivating my unique voice as an artist in the film industry. I have written and directed several short films which have participated in film festivals around the world. One of them, the award-winning short film “THE RED,” was showcased in the 2018 Cannes Film Festival Short Corner and is now available on Amazon Prime and Sofy TV.
Now I am developing my debut feature film which is supported by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Sweden AND World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Switzerland.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, my interest in filmmaking began when I was a kid by watching Hollywood movies. I remember the first film I’ve watched was “Schindler’s List”, and decided to be a Film Director. This film is about the Holocaust, and how the European Jews were struggling with the Nazi German army. After watching this movie, I recognized that all people around me were talking about the actors and the story of this masterpiece. As for me, I was thinking more about, who was behind all of that, who was the one who created this world. When I knew that the name of the Director was Steven Spielberg, I decided to watch every single movie that he is making.
From this point, my passion for the Cinema industry started, and I began to focus on every single detail of the storytelling process. I read books about directing and screenwriting, watched a lot of movies, and read films criticism. At that time I was in Egypt, I was this kind of kid, who was usually going to a video club for renting two or three movies per time, watch them, review them, then go back again to rent more and do the same.
When I’ve finished High School, I decided to study filmmaking. In Egypt, we have the biggest cinema institute in the Middle East “High Cinema Institute”. At that time, we had a big event in Egypt “The Revolution” in 2011.
I am not going to lie I was happy, as finally we are getting rid of this Dictatorial Regime. But also, the situation in Egypt was not safe and was not promising for a future, especially we had a lot of political problems.
So, I took a really hard decision in my life, I decided to leave my homeland to have a better future. My first and last option for me was The United States of America, as someone like me wants to be a filmmaker, the best place is “Hollywood”. So, I came to Los Angeles, and got my Bachelor’s Degree with Honors, in Filmmaking from New York Film Academy.
In the beginning, I had no confidence in myself. The biggest struggle for me was the new environment. Coming from Egypt to Los Angeles, was a culture shock. Even though I’ve learned English in my high school, in Egypt, but to practice it every day is another challenge. I was teaching myself by practicing it with people around me. As for someone like me, who left his family and decided to live alone in a new country, looking for a better future, it was a very hard experience.
I used to ask myself did I make the right decision to leave my homeland, and come to LA to begin a new life, but I figured out that this was meant to be especially after graduating, and began my career in filmmaking. I was inspired by everyone I met here in this city. I was discovering a new culture, and a new environment, I overcome my scarring and doubts. I believe that my choice to stay here in Los Angeles, is worth it, as I developed my personal skills, and became a better person, and a better Film Director. I always remember this quote by Nobel prize Egyptian writer “Naguib Mahfouz” (“The homeland is not a place of birth, but a place where all the attempts to escape end”).
I wrote and directed several short films. My films got a chance to participate in several film festivals around the world. I am proud of every single movie I have made, especially my Thesis project “The Red” as it was screened in several film festivals, and also in Cannes Film Festival Short Corner 2018, and now The Red is available on Amazon Prime Video & Sofy TV.
Now I am developing my debut feature film which is supported by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Sweden AND World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Switzerland, “Escaping by the Sea”.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to thank the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sweden for believing in me as a film director to tell a true story about a Syrian refugee, the movie now is in pre-production and its name is “Escaping by the Sea”. Also, I would like to thank one of my best friends Kal Naga, he is also a multi winning actor. Last but not least of course my fiancé Olivia Jamgotchian who is also supporting me and encourage me to continue and move forward in my career.