Jehane Noujaim On A Global Day Of Film

Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.

jehane_noujaim.jpgIn this hopeful talk, Jehane Noujaim unveils her 2006 TED Prize wish: to bring the world together for one day a year through the power of film.

Two weeks before the US invaded Iraq in 2003, Jehane Noujaim gained access to both Al Jazeera and the US military's Central Command offices in Qatar. By being in the right place at that very wrong time, she caught the onset and outbreak of the Iraq war on film. The resulting documentary, Control Room, exposed the very divergent ways the Arabs and the West covered the war.

Being raised between Egypt and the US, the exploration of culture is one of Jehane's driving forces. Her reason for making the film: "It's important for everyone, simply as individuals, to try to understand different people and different cultures, but it's especially important for people in the United States because we affect so much of the world beyond our borders."

Noujaim's earlier film Startup.com was another case when she entered the story at the perfect point in time: The film follows an arc that mirrors the curve of the dotcom bubble itself, capturing a small Internet company from its eager beginnings through the manic, moneyed times right down to the bitter end.

Before culture even begins to shift, Jehane is there with her camera, trusting that the story to unfold is one that will change us. She's at work on her 2006 TED Prize wish for a world-uniting international celebration of film, Pangea Day.

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