I am Karim Shaaban, Egyptian, independent movie maker. I’m writing in the only way I know how to write with, movie script and screenplays. However, this is not my medium of communication; I find words and language an inert means of expression. They never convey the full “picture”. Words cannot express emotions, writing can’t transmit an experience.
Alas, I won’t write much about myself, but I will write what I must.
My story, starts -as all stories start, with birth, a son of the 90s Egypt, a turbulent and shifting country, struggling with its own identity. And each detail, each single event adds something to this growing consciousness or leaves a scar. In 2006, this consciousness materialized, And suddenly I knew that if there is anything I want to be, it is to be a movie maker, a realization that stemmed from a belief in Cinema and the power of movies, in causing cultural shifts and being a catalyst of change.
The first step was joining a workshop for movie making organized by the Spanish embassy, and instructed the director Basel Ramsis Labib, and in it I was learnt academically about movie making, and was further assured of what I want to do, and where I ought to be.
My first movie was a documentary about the “National Secondary School”, in 2007. Then I worked with several advertising and marketing agencies, as a graphic designer, but my heart and passion were always there, directed towards the movie industry.
The first real experiment was in 2008, through another workshop, this time by the Theoneminutejr , which resulted in a short film titled “Overload”. The movie was nominated in a number of festivals, including “Stranger Film Festival. After which the “Stranger” organizing committee chose me to be amongst 10 participants, to organize the Festival. Another firm step on the road of becoming a movie maker.
Through my experience in the various advertising agencies, I got exposure to various creative fields and individuals, which helped in kick starting my career as a movie maker, through working on Documentaries, Commercials, Video Art & Short films, all while participating in a number of local and international festivals. Which in turn led me to advancing further in these agencies until I landed as junior Art Director in J. Walter Thompson (JWT) Egypt.
And in 2011, I decided to leave the advertising business altogether, in pursuit of a more dedicated career as a Film Director.
2012 witnessed the first Drama Short film “What’s Going On”, funded through a grant Fund from the British Council. What’s Going On entered a number of film festivals, including -(Names of fesitvals)- film but more importantly, it was an important milestone along the path of being a movie maker, because it led to further developing my skills and technics as a director.
Finally, I can’t talk about my experience in movies, without answering the key question…
Why do I want to become a Film Director?
Ultimately, movie making and the film industry in general, is the tool and medium with which I express my ideas and my perception of life, and with which I become an active member of my community. It is my responsibility towards this community, in which I was brought up and to which I belong, to express its dreams and aspirations, as well as its afflictions and tribulations. And if I achieve that, even in one Shot, of one movie, if I touched the life of one person and derived him to think and contemplate, then I have fulfilled my role and dream. That’s all I can write about myself, but as I already wrote, words are inert; they don’t express the full extent of myself, or my dreams and determinations. So if you want to know me, know me through my movies.