Zahra Mackaoui

Zahra Mackaoui portrait

Zahra Mackaoui

Iíve been involved in documentary filmmaking for over 15 years now. My experience embraces many different genres, from current affairs/factual programmes to presenter led, thematic series, and observational, character led documentaries. (BBC, Channel 4, ITN, ARTE/ZDF, Al Jazeera, Discovery).

But the one thread that ties all these diverse strands together is that turbulent and forever surprising part of the world: The Middle East. However hard I try, I find myself pulled back there over and over again. At times I purposefully travel elsewhere for a breath of air, but the stories just keep coming.†

My involvement in documentaries began in London, where I learnt the tools of the trade as a Researcher/AP, before moving back to the Middle East, where I began making my own films. Along the way, I learnt how to shoot, to double up as second recordist & edit (Final Cut & Premiere). At times, when necessity demanded, I was a one-woman show, searching out those quirky news stories for news broadcasters (BBC, APTN, AFP).†

In the last two years, I have been documenting the Syrian refugee crisis for UNHCR, following the trail of exile across the Middle East, into Europe, Scandinavia and as far as North America. A tale of tragedy that shows no signs of abating.

Throughout these past 15 years, I have been, and continue to be, inspired by the people that I meet. Their resilience, their determination and that one essential, a sense of humour is what keeps me going.†

I am currently based between Europe and the Middle East, attempting to live in both regions simultaneously.