This June, New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni Jameelah Rose Lineses and Joseph Lineses starred together in Mindanao: The Legend of Tabunaway, Mamalu and Their Descendants at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. In addition to both being graduates of the New York Film Academy, Jameelah Rose and Joseph are sister and brother.
Joseph Lineses and Jameelah Rose Lineses
Mindanao: The Legend ran from June 21 – June 24, with both evening and matinee shows. Based on the oral tradition legend of the brothers Tabunaway and Mamalu, Mindanao: The Legend highlights the culture of the indigenous peoples and sultanates of the Southern Philippines. Mindanao: The Legend was written and directed by Potri Ranka Manis, who also devised the show’s concept and choreography.
The production supports Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage, a dance ensemble founded in 1992 and devoted to preserving and educating people about the rich, vibrant culture of the Philippines. In addition to the production and additional shows and benefits, Kinding Sindaw also offers workshops and classes in Filipino dances. Its Executive Director is Potri Ranka Manis.
Jameelah Rose and Joseph Lineses have been members of Kinding Sindaw for over eight months. Jameelah first attended New York Film Academy in June 2011, taking the 8-Week Filmmaking Workshop. Two months later, she enrolled in the 1-Year Filmmaking program at the New York City campus, where she was given hands-on training with state-of-the-art film equipment, and taught the skills necessary for pre-production through post-production.
Since graduating, Jameelah has made multiple films, including Historic Jeddah, Our Journey to Hijaz, and The Lifestyles of Expats in Jeddah. These films have been screened in many festivals, and Jameelah has accumulated several awards for her efforts, including the IFFM Film Festival Director Louie Award Honorable Mention. In addition to her work as a filmmaker, and as a dancer and actress for Kinding Sindaw, she is also part of the media and marketing team for the nonprofit organization.
Jameelah Rose Lineses
Her brother, Joseph Lineses, attended New York Film Academy’s 4-Week Photography program in New York City. Joseph was born in Quezon City in the Philippines, but like his sister Jameelah, he was raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Portraying Mindanao: The Legend was very important to him because of his deep interest in his ancestors and the culture of the Southern Philippines.
The New York Film Academy congratulates both Jameelah Rose and Joseph Lineses on their successful run of Mindanao: The Legend of Tabunaway, Mamalu and Their Descendants, and looks forward to the continued works produced by Kinding Sindaw.
We’re proud to announce that one of our former students, Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses will be screening her documentary short film Historic Jeddah at the International Film Festival Manhattan 2015 in New York City. Jameelah attended both the One Year Filmmaking Conservatory Program and the Eight-week Filmmaking Workshop at the New York Film Academy. Her documentary, Historic Jeddah is the one and only film coming from Saudi Arabia that is included in this year’s official selections. The film festival will run from October 22nd to the 25th. Jameelah’s film will be screened at the Producers Club (358 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036) on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 5:50pm-8:10pm.
Jameelah’s selection has already garnered her some notable press, including features in the Saudi Gazette and Arab News—the two leading English newspapers in Saudi Arabia—as well as Malayalam News, a sister newspaper of Arab News.
Before her upcoming screening this Saturday, Jameelah was gracious enough to answer some questions about her documentary and her future in filmmaking.
Can you tell us what this documentary is about?
Historic Jeddah is a multi-part documentary short film that showcases some of Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage such as the Dondurma, Rawashin, Rubat, and more. A multi-part documentary film that will surely give the audience a detailed insight of Saudi Arabia’s Historic Jeddah – A World Heritage Site. A film that will represent one of Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural history.
What do you hope to achieve with this documentary?
Without a doubt, Saudi Arabia is the world’s most conservative country. It is also a country that doesn’t offer tourist visas. Therefore, only a handful of people know what it really feels like to be in Saudi Arabia and the things that it has to offer to the world aside from petroleum/gas and oil. With the help of this multi-part documentary film, people will get to see a different side of Saudi Arabia, and that is its cultural heritage. It will give the audience a new perspective of the whole country and its citizens, especially to those who have never been to the country.
I believe that this documentary film will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s tourism in the near future. This country has so much to offer but it is not widely known to the rest of the world.
Why did you choose Old Jeddah as your setting?
I was browsing through Facebook and I saw this group called Arabian Jewel. They are organizing a tour to Old Balad because there was an ongoing festival. It was held earlier this year on January 2015. I was intrigued by it. I discussed it with my mother and we ended up going on the tour. My mother was my inspiration when I made the film. In fact, she was the one who told me that I should film the tour and bring a spare camera with me. She told me that I could turn it into a film someday, which I actually ended up doing. This film is entirely shot using a camera-phone (Samsung Note 3 and iPhone 5s) and a digital compact/point and shoot camera (Nikon Coolpix).
What initially made you pursue a career in filmmaking? How did you start?
I have always loved watching movies and TV series since I was very young. As I grew older, I began to critique various films. Gradually, my interest in watching films evolved into something more in depth, and that is to study the art of filmmaking. Since I was in 5th grade of elementary school, I have dreamed of becoming a successful film director. Until the day I graduated from high school, my ambition did not change.
My greatest influence on wanting to pursue a degree in the motion picture of arts is the East Asian cinema, with great focus on South Korean and Japanese television series and music videos.
I am a huge fan of Rush Hour movies starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Jackie Chan is one of my all-time favorite action stars alongside Jet Li. It has been one of my dreams to be able to work with them on a project. I have watched almost all of their films. I also love the Harry Potter movies.
Would you say your studies at NYFA were useful in terms of making Historic Jeddah?
Yes, of course! I still remember during my studies in the filmmaking conservatory program, we had documentary elective classes from our directing instructor, Tassos Rigopoulos. Although it was just an elective, I was always present in that class. I am glad that we had documentary elective classes in NYFA. I have learned so much in a short period of time.
At the New York Film Academy, we write, direct, edit, produce and shoot our own films. I was able to apply the skills I learned from NYFA in making Historic Jeddah because it is a film I shot, directed, edited and produced by myself. I have also applied those skills on my other projects here in Jeddah since almost all of it are a “one-woman show.”
Would you recommend NYFA to other students interested in pursuing the arts?
Absolutely! I have been promoting NYFA in my own way ever since it became my dream school back in 2008 (I was an incoming 2nd year high school student during that time) and even before NYFA had information sessions in Saudi Arabia. I can safely say that I was one of the first few people, if not the first, to ever inquire about filmmaking programs at NYFA, back in 2008. Also, I still wear my NYFA gear often (caps, t-shirts, bags, summer/winter jacket and hoodies). This is one of the ways I promote the school in Jeddah. In fact, recommending NYFA has already become a habit of mine after I graduated and became an alumni.
I highly recommend the New York Film Academy for anyone interested in pursuing the arts, especially for aspiring filmmakers and actors/actresses. I believe that NYFA was the best place for me to hone my skills in filmmaking and learn many more things that can contribute to my career someday. And based on my experience studying there, I can say it is worth it. Not only the instructors teach us how to operate different kinds of cameras (from film to digital), they also teach as the etiquette in working in the industry. Before I forget to mention, our instructors also taught us all the roles and functions of other crew positions, as well.
I believe that NYFA has excellent faculty members because they make sure their students do not fall behind classes. They are also very knowledgeable and experienced. In addition to that, the counselors and NYFA staff are very attentive to the needs of the students.
What is your goal as a filmmaker?
My goal is to become a prominent figure in the motion picture of arts. I hope to become a multi-award-winning, multi-lingual, and world-renowned filmmaker in the future. I wish to win an Oscar for Best Director and for my film to win as well. I would also like to be listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest director of my generation—if there’s such an award. I became a filmmaker at the age of 18 — the youngest of my class during the Eight-week filmmaking program at NYFA.
Given the chance, I would like to become a pioneer in educating young and aspiring filmmakers here without breaking the code of conduct of Saudi Arabia. At the moment, there are only a handful of filmmakers from Saudi Arabia, especially female filmmakers like me.
Are you currently working on anything else?
Yes, I am currently working on 3 documentary films. One of the films is about the Expats of Jeddah. This is actually a continuation of my semester film during my filmmaking conservatory studies at NYFA. For this film, I interviewed additional people of different nationalities. The film will be about their lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — from their first impressions, things they like/dislike about the country, culture differences, advices to incoming expats, etc.
We wish the best of luck to this very ambitious filmmaker, especially on her upcoming festival screening. For tickets to the screening of Historic Jeddah, please CLICK HERE.
This past February, New York Film Academy graduate, Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses was honored at the 6th Ani Ng Dangal (Presidential Award) at the Resorts World Manila. Her film, Will You Marry Me?, was her quarter film during her filmmaking conservatory studies at NYFA. The short film contains no dialogue and literally follows a girl who is walking around on an ordinary day while someone follows a few steps back. What begins with a tone of mystery eventually turns into an unexpected twist and an overall change in mood.
“Creating a film takes a lot of effort and perseverance on our part, as filmmakers,” says Jameelah. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a blockbuster-Hollywood-type of movie, an indie film, or a simple short film. We are taught in the classroom that once you start making films, you are already a filmmaker.”
After graduating from New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking Conservatory Program two years ago, Jameelah applied for the OPT (Optional Practical Training). From there, she was able to work with a few production internships and volunteer programs such as the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM). She was a Technical Director (Video and Photo Team), Official Photographer and Videographer, Operations and Coordinator. Following the internship, she worked with the Kababayan media.
After that, Jameelah returned to Jeddah with her family and worked for Silvergrey Pictures and Sound: one of the largest production companies in Saudi Arabia. Silvergrey hired and assigned her to work on STV1 and 2 (Saudi TV1 and 2) Saudi Cultural Commercial, which was a collaboration project with the French crew from an affiliated company in Paris.
Jameelah also worked as a Line Producer under Speedtrack (one of the sister companies of Silvergrey Pictures and Sound). It should be noted that Jameelah is one of only a few female filmmakers coming from Saudi Arabia.
She is currently communicating with production companies in Jeddah to coordinate a film collaboration project with the International Film Festival Manhattan where Jameelah had previously been awarded the Film Festival Director Award for Best Student Film. This brand new event would be the first film festival of its kind that would take place in the Kingdom.