Mohammad Malas was born in 1945 in Quneitra, Syria, and studied filmmaking at the Moscow Film Institute (VGIK). He is the director of twelve films and has been a key figure of Syrian auteur-cinema for the past twenty years. Much of his work explores the effects of the political on the fabric of personal and collective identities in the Arab world. Samirah Alkassim is an independent film scholar and program and communications director for the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, Washington DC. She was formerly director of the film program at the American University in Cairo.