Hot Docs 2023: Qs à la mode with… Sherien Barsoum (Cynara)

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Director Sherien Barsoum trains her lens on the justice system in Cynara, which recounts the trial and conviction of Cindy Ali (pictured above), who was accused of killing her disabled daughter. We posed our Qs à la mode to Sherien, and here’s what she shared!

If I had to describe my film using only three adjectives, they would be: Enduring, gentle, provocative. 

I decided to make this film because: We need to keep asking ourselves whose voices we believe and why.

The thing that surprised me most about my film’s subject/topic was: The extent to which we are vulnerable under the legal system.

My favorite moment/scene/sequence in my film is: When young Jayden visits Cindy in prison.

The most challenging part of making my film was: Getting access to our legal system. 

My most invaluable piece of doc-making gear was/is: The Omni-Tracker! Made for smooth dolly-like shots wherever we went!

One piece of documentary-filmmaking advice I’d like to share with aspiring documentarians is: The people who are living their lives in your film are more important than your film. 

Want to check out Sherien’s film or just learn more about it?
Get the scoop, and your tickets, here!


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