Daniel Mann is a London-based filmmaker and researcher. Mann's writing appeared in journals such as Media, Culture & Society, Screen, and World Records. His first book, titled Occupying Habits: Media as Warfare in Israel\Palestine, will be out next year. His films have been screened at venues such as The Berlinale, The Rotterdam Film Festival, Cinema du Reel, The Hong Kong Film Festival, New Horizons, Sonic Acts, and the ICA in London. Mann holds a PhD from the Media department and the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, London. Currently, he is a Research Fellow and lecturer at the Film Studies Department at King’s College London, where he works on a project on desert environments as infrastructure for cinematic spectacle.
Daniel Mann explores the use of deserts environments as lucrative locations for high budget cinema. Mann asks how cinema exploits deserts as generic backdrops for epic fantasies of war while becoming a lens through which to glimpse otherwise obscured neo-colonial geopolitics. During Mann’s residency at Camargo, he will work on his new film, titled Dead Lands, which explores the desert in Israel-Palestine and its use as a stage for fiction. Imagined for decades as empty and uninhabited to serve a Zionist ideology, in the 1980s it made the perfect location for Hollywood films that depict American wars in the Middle East. Films such as Rambo, Iron Eagle and Delta Force tell the secret story of cinema’s confidential collaboration with the Israeli Military (IDF), and of the desert land itself, confiscated from the native Bedouins, turned into military zones, before being offered as locations for cinema.