The critically acclaimed film, Unsettling, by recent Royal Holloway, University of London graduate, Iris Zaki, will be screened at London Film Festival on 11 October.
Unsettling is Iris’s third film, and comes after the huge success of her Grierson award winning documentary, Women in Sink, which gained international recognition for its candid insight into a hair salon that acts as a space for Arab and Jewish women to come together and discuss politics.
As with Women in Sink, Iris’s new venture employs her innovative ‘abandoned camera’ technique, using an unmanned camera to capture her interaction with the subjects, in order to achieve a natural conversation rather than an interview.
In this new documentary, Iris travels to Tekoa, an Israeli settlement on the West Bank where residents usually shun speaking to the media. Here Iris takes residence and sets out to meet the settlers and discuss their experiences.
Speaking of the film, Iris said: “It’s amazing to see people taking such interest in my work. For me, Unsettling was a challenge, not just artistically, but mentally. I had to go and immerse myself completely within this community for almost two months in order to build a rapport with the members so that different views and experiences could be shared and understood through the simple art of conversation.”
“It took a long time for people to trust me, but I was determined to get them to open up and talk naturally in front of the camera. That’s what my method is all about – trying to capture people at their most casual.”
Professor Christopher Townsend, Head of the Media Arts Department at Royal Holloway said: “We’re really proud of Iris and the work she has achieved. It’s always great to see what our graduates go on to do.
“The Media Arts Department at Royal Holloway is committed to offering students a balance of practical experience and theoretical learning whilst giving them the space to express their own creativity.”
Unsettling will be showcased at the BFI London Film Festival on Thursday 11 October.