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Moviegoing Memories: Edward Watts

The co-director of “For Sama” tells us about his favorite cinema and the most memorable movie-going experience of his life.
Moviegoing Memories is a series of short interviews with filmmakers about going to the movies. Edward Watt and Waad Al-Khateab's For Sama is MUBI GO's Film of the Week of September 13, 2019.
For Sama
NOTEBOOK: How would you describe your movie in the least amount of words?
EDWARD WATTS: For Sama tells the epic story of a young woman’s journey through love, marriage, and motherhood across five years of the revolution in Aleppo, Syria.
NOTEBOOK: Where and what is your favorite movie theatre?
WATTS: I love the BFI Southbank in London. It is truly a temple of cinema, showing the greatest classics from across time and space! And nothing beats having a post-show beer by the side of the river to discuss what you’ve just seen.
NOTEBOOK: What is the most memorable movie screening of your life?
WATTS: I’m afraid to say it was the world premiere of my own film, For Sama, at the SXSW festival earlier this year. My fellow director Waad al-Kateab and I expected that most of the audience would leave because the content of the film is so tough. Not only did everyone stay—but they gave us a huge standing ovation at the end! It was an incredible moment.
NOTEBOOK: If you could choose one classic film to watch on the big screen, what would it be? 
WATTS: Lawrence of Arabia. I cannot think of any other film that uses the full canvas of the big screen to such awe-inspiring effect. The detail, the vision, the epic nature of the story and its setting—that is true cinema.

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