Over the last few days a German film crew has been filming in the Medina of Fez. The View from Fez decided to track them down and find out what they were up to. The company is Schwenk Film from Stuttgart and the director is Hannes Schuler. When we caught up with him at Cafe Clock, he was filming the popular Fez Hip Hop band, Fassa. After the performance we sat down with Hannes Schuler for a chat.
TVFF: What is the programme you are making?
HANNES: This is a German four part TV programme about Islam. It is not a political programme, but rather we want to tell stories from Muslim people. Let them tell their own stories so that people can begin to understand Muslim culture.
TVFF: So who are you filming and interviewing?
HANNES: We are meeting everyone from Imams to hip hop musicians. We witnessed circumcision in Turkey, Ramadan in Cairo and now we are in Fez to witness the Eid festivities. We planned to film in eight countries - Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Pakistan. Unfortunately the situation in Pakistan will not allow us to go there.
TVFF: And the style, the tone, of the production?
HANNES: We want to surprise the viewers with the little stories that illustrate answers to questions that non-Muslim viewers ask themselves; what do they think? What is it about? What is the situation with wearing the veil? We don't want to comment but let the people give the answers. So the working title is "The Profiles of Islam", which is not a very sexy title but we do try to show different views, different angles, different interpretations of Islam.
TVFF: And Hip Hop?
HANNES (Laughing): The idea is to break the clichés. We will be shooting a lot in the Medina during the Eid festival - we were in the market to buy the sheep and we will be there when they cut their throats. In other words, we will have all the traditional shots. But we want to break the cliché. So, in the middle of the film when you think you are in the middle ages you will suddenly see and hear Hip Hop music on the rooftops.
Hannes Schuler tells us that the film will be completed early next year and its first appearance will be on the joint French/German cultural station Arte in June.