Bassel Shehade, a talented young Syrian film-maker, was killed in Homs on 28th May 2012. Reel Festivals deeply mourns this loss, Bassel was a friend of ours, we had screened his short film in 2011 and he volunteered on the Refugee Film Festival in Damascus. Bassel was also a volunteer and campus participant with DoxBox, Syria’s independant documentary festival and was awarded their TAKWEEN fund, although he never had a chance to use it.
Bassel was awarded a Fulbright scholorship in 2011, and went to Syracuse University to pursue a master in Fine Art in Film Degree, but decided to return to Syria to try and show the world what was happening there, especially in Homs. He went to Homs in early 2012 to film a documentary and train people in filming and editing. Friends from Syria have told us he was killed during shelling by the Syrian army of an area in Homs.
Bassel was an immensly talented young man, with energy and enthusiasm and a joy for life. He was always smiling and always ready to help with projects, and truly believed in solidarity through the arts. He was also a passionate hiker and knew every corner of Syria. He loved the country and was always working to support its development. In 2010 he organised an exhibition of photos showing the beauty of Syria. I remember going for a coffee with him a few days after it had been launched, he described how someone had vandalised the exhibition in the middle of the night. He couldn’t understand why something beautiful had been targeted.
Now we are left asking the same question.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad & difficult time.
To read more about Bassel see here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/syracuse-university-fulbright-scholar-killed-filming-clashes-syria-article-1.1086251
You can see one of Bassel’s film here: