A Master Class with Sean McAllister in collaboration with Cinema Politica


The Movie: Monday, February 1st at 7pm in H-110, Concordia University, 1455 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal.

Screening of A SYRIAN LOVE STORY presented by Cinema Politica

The Master Class: Saturday February 6th, 12:00 noon – 2:00 PM in EV 1.615, Concordia University, 1515 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal.

The Concordia Documentary Centre (CDC) is proud to present a Master Class by documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister. This event will be preceded by the screening of McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story as part of Cinema Politica’s program of events.

In this Master Class held at Concordia, award-winning documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister will engage in a dialogue about his international filmmaking practice, which has broached extraordinary events in the lives of protagonists in locations across the globe, including Britain, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Japan, Yemen, and Syria.

Known for his unflinching ability to enter into dangerous and uncomfortable situations, McAllister’s experience and approach will provide master class attendants with exceptional insights into the ethics, politics and practical challenges of global approaches to documentary filmmaking.


CDC Master Class with Sean McAllister (director of A Syrian Love Story)

For more information about Sean McAllister and his work: http://seanmcallister.com/home/

Social Realism and the kitchen sink

After leaving school at 16 Sean McAllister worked in a series of low-paid low-skilled factory jobs in his hometown of Hull before finding a camera and filming his way into the National Film and Television School (NFTS), graduating in 1996. Since then he has made films for both the BBC and Channel 4; working in the UK and internationally. His candid, frank films depict with extraordinary intimacy the lives of ordinary people who are struggling to survive but who are survivors; intelligent and resourceful people caught-up in a world of political turmoil and personal conflict.

In 2005 his remarkable film ‘The Liberace Of Baghdad‘ about Iraqi pianist Samir Peter won the Special Jury Prize (World Documentary) at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sean is much more than a dispassionate fly-on-the-wall observer of other peoples’ lives, there is a fly-in-the-soup (Vérité) approach to his film-making, he becomes involved, he intervenes, he asks the questions which often provoke his subjects (and himself) into insights, thoughts, and realisations which they never knew they had.

From his early films Working For The Enemy (1997) and The Minders (1998) (both nominated for a Royal Television Society Awards), to his more recent successes, such as his Sundance Jury Prize-winning (2005) film The Liberace Of Baghdad, plus Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate, ‘The Reluctant Revolutionary‘ and now A Syrian Love Story Sean’s work continues to inspire, to surprise and to fascinate audiences.

“My duty as a filmmaker is to get beyond the performance” – Sean McAllister

“One of the most brave and powerful filmmakers around.” Michael Moore

“Sean McAllister makes filming look easy.” – Nick Fraser

More Links:

A great piece about Sean McAllister:


Sean McAllister’s filmography:


A brief write up about Sean McAllister’s awards: