Following her grandmother’s death, a desire grew within her to form a stronger connection to this country of which she knew so little. Serri studied old family photos and films, interviewed members of her family and other Syrians forced to flee their homeland, and in this documentary mixes her own memories with theirs. For some, Syria remains as alive and present as the scent of jasmine, while others’ memories have already faded. They don’t usually talk about it, wishing to spare their children the traumas of the past: “They must look to the future.”

Damascus Dreams is a record of a personal odyssey, yet this filmic essay also gives a broad- er view of the memories and dreams of the displaced. For people who had to leave so much behind, it sometimes seems easier to forget. In this way, Serri ties in the fate of refugees to her own dreamt homeland.

Emilie Serri (1984, Canada) is a Montreal-based visual artist and filmmaker with Belgian-Syrian roots. She graduated in Journalism and in Film at Concordia University and has a Master’s degree in Visual and Media Art from UQAM. Her work has been distributed by Light Cone, and it went on to screen at numerous national and international festivals. In her work, Serri often tries to capture “the tension that lies between the visible physical world and internal states”. For the production of her debut feature DAMASCUS DREAMS (2021), with its world premiere at IFFR, she was awarded the Bronfman Fellowship in Contempo- rary Art and received a grant from Telefilm Canada.

The film will be followed by pre – recorded Q&A by Curator Elise Hassan & Emilie Serri

Director: Emilie SerriProducer: Audrey-Ann Dupuis Pierre

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