Palestinian filmmaker shoots music video in Chicago neighborhood
JadaL is a growingly popular Arabic Rock Band from Amman, Jordan. JadaL is giving filmmakers the opportunity to express their creativity and win a cash prize by making a music video for a track off their album El Makina. The opportunity takes the form of a video contest open to all their fans.
Ahmed Hamad is a Palestinian filmmaker who has submitted a video to the music competition, filmed his entry in Pilsen, a neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side.
Ahmed grew up in Beit Hanoun, a small village that is located on the north east edge of the Gaza Strip. He moved to the United States in the summer of 2010 and has been working as a freelance cinematographer and video editor in Chicago. In 2014, he graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media.
Hamad developed a passion for filmmaking at a young age.
“I have always struggled with language and writing in words, because I am a visual person by nature. I express myself in pictures more eloquently and when people talk to me I see pictures, when I read a book I see pictures and when I hear music I see pictures,” Hamad said.
Hamad’s idea for the video developed naturally.
“The first line of the song is, ‘Is there anyone that can come take my place? Solve my problems? Take me away from myself?’” Hamad explained. “When I heard that line, my first thought was, ‘me too,’ but then my second thought was, ‘everyone has their own problems too.’ As I was listening to the sound track, I started seeing images of tangled cables and tunnels and I remember the cables were different colors.Tunnels and tangled wires always remind me of the complicated lives of Palestinians.”
Hamed’s video is about a young man that has his own problems, but he never asks for help because he is very aware that everyone else has problems of their own. However, when he finds out that a good friend is in need of help, he stands up for them, he explained.
People can visit JadaL facebook page to vote for the video they enjoy the most. Hamed’s video is in second place based on the numbers that show up on the voting page on Facebook, as of press time.
“There is a small gap between the person in first place and us. We don’t know when the voting will be over, but we are going to keep hustling for more votes until we are told it’s over,” Hamad said.
The video with the most votes will be released as the official music video on JadaL’s YouTube channel. The winner will also receive an award of $1,000 for their efforts and the possibility of working with the band on another video for their upcoming album release.