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US film festival in Kuwait highlights children''s tolerance-promotion power

KUN0035 4 GEN 0461 KUWAIT /KUNA-QQQ2 CUL-KUWAIT-US-PRODUCER US film festival in Kuwait highlights children's tolerance-promotion power By Eman Al-Awadhi (with photos) KUWAIT, March 12 (KUNA) -- Young people have an enormous power and are able to employ it in promoting tolerance and better understanding of cultures, which is the theme of the theatrical documentary "Paper Clips" being screened as part of the American Independent Film Festival in Kuwait. In an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the film's script writer and director Joe Fab said, "I am honored to be in the Middle East for the first time to screen a movie that holds messages that are relevant and helpful for us all to think about." The documentary follows 12 and 13-year-old students of the small town of Whitwell, Tennessee, as they worked on a project that taught them all about tolerance and brought them in contact with people from different countries and religious backgrounds. Although the film focused on a specific project, the director explained it was really "about children and the power that young people have." Fab said he was happy to have traveled around the US to screen the film and to find that it had inspired other children to generate their own projects such as raising money for work in Rwanda and producing the world's largest book on peace. Asked about activities while in Kuwait, he said Julie Stevens, the visiting producer and director of "Life After Tomorrow" who was also participating in the festival, and himself had been talking to students and other local film makers, noting these talks were "feeding" his interest and made him realize how much he needed to learn about this part of the world. "I heard a lot about the First Gulf War (1991) and I am interested in spending more time here in the future to make a film about this period ... it is my first impression that the story has not been sufficiently told," he said. He explained that he was drawn to "people stories" that audiences could identify with in some way, saying that if he were to make a film in Kuwait, he would have to identify "individuals whose stories would have some variety and be truly representative, and would in some sense still be continuing today." Fab said he loved his work but that he could not do what he did "if people aren't willing to trust you and open up to you." For people to be generous in sharing their experiences and the stories that really matter to them was "a great honor" and the whole process of making such films was "genuinely a privilege". The American Independent Film Festival, in which a total of five films will be screened, is being held by the US Embassy in Kuwait between March 11 and 13 at Shaab Cinema in cooperation with CineMagic.(end) ema KUNA 121255 Mar 07NNNN