Tell Brak Films is Yasmin Fedda’s film website.
Yasmin Fedda is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films have focused on themes from Edinburgh bakeries to Syrian monasteries. Her films have been BAFTA-nominated and screened at numerous international festivals including Sundance and Edinburgh International Film Festival. Films include Milking the Desert (2004), Breadmakers (2007), A Tale of Two Syrias (2012) and Siamo Toranti /We are Back (2013). Fedda has also made broadcast films for the BBC and Al Jazeera. Her most recent film, Queens of Syria, won the Black Pearl award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2014. She has a PhD in Transdisciplinary Documentary Film, and is also co-founder and programmer of Highlight Arts, an organisation that works with artists in times of conflict.
What is Tell Brak?
The logo for Tell Brak Films is based on the eye idols found in the Eye Temples at Tell Brak (or Tal Brak), an ancient site in North-Eastern Syria on the fertile plains near the Tigris river. It was originally excavated by Max Mallowan, Agatha Christie’s husband; she spent time there writing while he uncovered ancient societies.
Tell Brak was an international thoroughfare and home to several civilisations over the centuries, including the Sumerians, Babylonians, Akkadians and the Mittani’s , finally being abandoned in c.2000 BC. The small Eye Idols found there, dating from around c.3300 BC, show some of the earliest representations of the human figure. These idols were personal and portable figurines used as offerings to an all-seeing god. You can see some of the eye idols in Syrian Museums and in the British Museum in London.
These figures inspired me because they simply represent the human figure with a focus on the eyes and on seeing. They remind me of camera reels and observing, reflecting my interest in intimate and creative human stories from around the world.