The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

Arab filmmakers will be widely present in prestigious international festivals this fall, such as Venice and Toronto. In the Venice festival alone, there are six works by Arab filmmakers in non-competitive sections. In addition, six other works by Arab-speakers, which are in the final stage of production, are among the eight selected works of the newly established section of the festival called "Final Cut". The Toronto festival will also open with the movie "The Swimmers". A drama by Sali al-Husseini, an Arab Egyptian filmmaker, based on the journey of Olympic champion Syrian sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini, who fled to Germany after the war started in their country. Yusra participated in the 2016 and 2021 Summer Olympics. Apart from this, six other Arabic films will be screened at the Canadian festival. Leila Hatami and Julian Moore on the red carpet

BingMag.com The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

Arab filmmakers will be widely present in prestigious international festivals this fall, such as Venice and Toronto. In the Venice festival alone, there are six works by Arab filmmakers in non-competitive sections. In addition, six other works by Arab-speakers, which are in the final stage of production, are among the eight selected works of the newly established section of the festival called "Final Cut". The Toronto festival will also open with the movie "The Swimmers". A drama by Sali al-Husseini, an Arab Egyptian filmmaker, based on the journey of Olympic champion Syrian sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini, who fled to Germany after the war started in their country. Yusra participated in the 2016 and 2021 Summer Olympics. Apart from this, six other Arabic films will be screened at the Canadian festival. Leila Hatami and Julian Moore on the red carpet

Looking at the selected titles for the top international festivals as well as the popular film and television productions of the past few years, some trends in new cinema productions. And Arab filmmakers can be seen. Rasha Salti, an independent Arab producer, said: "Cinematic genres and subjects, with their immeasurable variety, provide the possibility of confronting society's taboos much more boldly than the official language." This is exactly the sentence that expresses the point of view of many figures in the cinema industry.

Certainly, the titles entered into the Venice Film Festival show this diversity and boldness. The opening film of this festival, "Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous" (Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous) by the French-Lebanese director Wissam Sharaf, has a fresh and attractive approach to social issues through minimalist drama and black humor. In The Damned Don't Cry, British-Moroccan director Faizal Boulifa combines melodrama, neorealism, and sexual frankness to convincingly depict the story of a mother and son on the fringes of society. Meanwhile, The Last Queen, the feature film debut of French-Algerian duo Damien Honori and Adela Bendimrad, is a beautiful historical drama with intriguing feminist undertones set in 1516, when Algeria was conquered by Barbarossa. .

Another example of the fight against taboos can be seen in the award-winning film of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) at this year's Cannes Film Festival, "The Blue Caftan". The story of this film is about a tailor with special tendencies in a small town in Morocco. Nabil Ayush, the Moroccan producer of the film, and Maryam Touzani, the director and writer of the film, both believe that Arab cinema deals with more sensitive issues today. Ayush says about this: "This recent accent is for everyone's benefit and shows the dynamism of Arab societies."

BingMag.com The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

The transfer of talent from the Arab world to English-speaking countries is still ongoing. One of those who recently made this migration is Egyptian Arab filmmakers, Mohamed Diab, the director of the films "678" (Cairo 678) and "Clash". Disney Plus entrusted the direction of Marvel Studio's short television series, "Moon Knight", to this Egyptian director, which was also very successful. she became. For example, the Emmy-nominated composer Hisham Nazieh, who is now a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), or Ahmed Hafez, the first Egyptian editor to be part of ACE. In addition, Arab actors have made a lot of noise in the world of cinema. The Lebanese-British Rozaneh Jamal in the Netflix series "The Sandman", the Palestinian-Jordanian Tara Abboud in the new Disney Plus series called "Culprits" and the Egyptian-British Fadi Al-Sayed in "London Gangs". Gangs of London).

There has also been a significant explosion of energy in Sudanese filmmaking, the resulting wave may not have fully formed yet, but we will definitely be hearing more from this country's cinema in the near future. In 2019, Sudanese producer, director and writer Amjad Abolala won the Venice Lion Award (an award for first-time directors) for his first feature, You Will Die At 20. to win Of course, this film was only the beginning of Sudan's brilliance in cinema. The following year, the documentary "Talking About Trees" made by Sohib Gasmelbari participated in the Berlin festival and was able to win several awards. The film follows the story of four Arab filmmakers who have "unwittingly" retired in an attempt to open a movie theater. Now, Egyptian film analyst Alaa Karkouti has reported that MAD Solutions film agency has three Sudanese projects in the works, one of which, Goodbye Julia, written and directed by Mohamed, has been shot. Kordfani will start in October.

BingMag.com The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

After all this, a look at the progress of cinema in Saudi Arabia. let's throw Until recently, the existence of the cinema industry in Saudi Arabia was a strange thing. But now the Kingdom of the Sahara provides significant financial support to Arab filmmakers and their box office figures are the highest among Arab countries. The Jeddah Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) was also launched in 2021 to be a springboard for a new wave of creative filmmakers to showcase their skills and art in this international industry.

Shivani Pandya Malhotra, The CEO of RSIFF notes that the Red Sea Festival Fund finances Arab and African filmmakers and encourages and supports them at all stages of development, production and post-production. "I was delighted to see the five films we supported at the Venice Film Festival: 'Nezouh' and 'Hanging Gardens', in the Horizons Extra section," he says. "Dirty, difficult, dangerous" and "The Last Queen" in the days of Venice; And "Queens", which ends the Venice Critics' Week."

Malhotra's reference to the arrival of Red Sea supported films to prestigious festivals shows another important point in modern Arab cinema: Films screened in festivals are not only the products of several countries and co-productions, but may also benefit from multiple financial support. It was about filmmaking and Arab filmmakers. But the transformation of the Tribeca-Doha Film Festival into the Doha Film Institute, which has already funded hundreds of films, helped fill this gap.

Egypt's El Gona Festival is also a big help for the Arab film industry. is, although this festival is currently postponed. The director of this festival, Intishal Al-Timimi, says: "We are still preparing for the sixth edition of the festival, which has been postponed to next year." He noted that El Gona still offers its annual award. This award is presented every year in the Final Cut section under the supervision of the Venice Film Festival. He also mentions the "Hanging Gardens" project, which is a project supported by Sineguna.

BingMag.com The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

Another A new source of funding that supports regional cinema is the Amman Jordan International Film Festival. The festival has recently completed its second cycle focusing on directors who presented their first works. Festival director Nada Dumani, who also serves as director of communications for the Royal Jordanian Film Commission, notes that the festival awards cash prizes to award-winning films, as well as cash prizes for films that are in production or in post-production. has taken. These awards are given to second category films through pitching platforms, which are prepared within the framework of the Oman Film Industry Days.

November 2022 Morocco International Film Festival and Atlas workshops will return in person and the cash value of the awards It will increase to 106,000 euros ($107,000). Remi Bonhomme, the director of the festival, notes: "This year, five films supported by the workshops made it to the A-list of prestigious festivals: the Tunisian films Ashkal by Youssef Chebi (Rotterdam Festival) and Under the Fig Trees." ) by Erighe Sohiri (Director for two weeks) and three Moroccan films "Fragments From Heaven" by Adnan Baraka (Locarno), "Queens" and "The Damned Don't Cry" (Venice Festival). /p>

Introduction of Arab cinema films that made it to the Venice Film Festival in each section:

Horizons Extra section

Hanging Gardens

  • Director: Ahmed Yassin Al-Daraji
  • Countries of production: Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Kingdom
  • Story summary: A young Iraqi scavenger finds an American sex doll among the garbage in Baghdad and Since then, he is caught in the conflict between commercialism and fundamentalism. )
    • Director: Sudadeh Kadan
    • Countries of production: Britain, Syria, France
    • Story Summary: Even when bombs are falling on the people of Damascus, Mo'taz refuses to flee to the precarious life of a refugee. But now his wife Hala and his daughter Zina have to decide whether to stay or go. h4>
      • Director: Wisam Sharaf
      • Countries of production: France, Italy, Lebanon
      • Story summary: Beirut, Lebanon. The impossible love story between an Ethiopian maid and a Syrian refugee whose body is witnessing mysterious changes.

      The Last Queen

      • Director: Damien Onori and Adela Bendimrad
      • Manufacturing countries: Nigeria, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Taiwan
      • Story summary: A story inspired by Princess Zafira The legendary wife of the last king of Algeria, Salim Toumi, and her struggles to defend her community against the pirate Barbarossa.

      BingMag.com The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

      The Damned Don't Cry

      • Director: Faizel Bolifa
      • Countries of production: France, Belgium, Morocco

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      • Story summary: Fatemeh Zahra and her teenage son Salim move from place to place and try to get away from their latest scandal forever.

      Critics' Week

      Queens

      • Director: Yasmin Benkiran
      • Production countries: France, Morocco, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Qatar
      • Story summary: A road movie about three policewomen's long chase from Casablanca to the Atlantic coast across rugged red fields and valleys full of peony flowers.

      Final Cut (story)

      Backstage

      • Director: Afif bin Mahmoud, Khalil bin Kiran
      • Producer countries: Morocco, Bulgaria, France, Norway, Qatar, Tunisia

      Black Light

      • Director: Karim Ben Salah
      • Producer countries: France, Algeria, Qatar
      • Summary of the story: An Algerian student works temporarily in a Muslim funeral parlor in hopes of avoiding his expulsion from France.

      BingMag.com The attack of Arab filmmakers on society’s taboos by shining in international festivals

      Inshallah a Boy

      • Director: Amjad Al Rashid
      • Manufacturing countries: Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar
      • Story summary: Inheritance laws put a grieving widow who has been unable to bear a son in danger of losing her home.

      Final Cut (documentary)

      A Fidai Film

      • Director: Kamal Al-Jaafari
      • Manufacturing countries: Germany, Palestine, Qatar
      • Summary of the story: During the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982, military forces attacked the Palestinian Research Center and destroyed its library.

      Land of Women

      • Director: Nada Riyadi, Ayman El Amir
      • Producer countries: Egypt, France, Denmark
      • Story summary: The story takes place in a traditional village in Egypt. A group of Coptic girls decide to form a street theater group of only women.

      Suspended

      • Director: Maryam El Haj
      • Countries of origin: Lebanon, France, Qatar
      • Story summary: How can we find our place in a country haunted by a past that continues to pollute the present?
      • ul>

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