What’s in a Name?
The ancient Bishari Tribe was thought to no longer exist, when anthropologist Shahira Fawzy discovered them in the of the Eastern Sahara Desert that spreads from Southern Egypt to Northern Sudan. Once a proud warrior people, they now lived at the edge of a civilization they did not understand: they spoke no Arabic, had no written language, and still told stories of hidden Roman gold as if time had stood still for centuries.
When Shelley Saywell and Deborah Parks accompanied Shahira to the desert to film her work as the subject of their first documentary, they found that at its heart this story encompassed all the issues they cared about: environmental and social effects of modernization and conflict on people living on the margins, women’s empowerment, and bearing witness to struggle and survival.
Thus Bishari Films was born, and in the years since we have made independent documentary films that have focused on human rights, conflict, and violence against women–always shining a light on those fighting against injustice.
The Bishari Team:
Deborah Parks, Producer
Deborah Palloway, Editor
Michael Grippo, Cinematographer
Peter Sawade, Sound Recordist
Olivia Ward, Consultant
and all the many talented people we've worked with along the way.