45 films from 12 Arab countries will participate in the 13th session of the Malmö Arab Film Festival, which kicked off today, Friday, and will continue until the fourth of next May. Productivity from 11 Arab countries.
Palestine at the opening
The Palestinian film “Mediterranean Fever” by Palestinian director and author Maha Hajj, which is a joint Palestinian-German-French-Cypriot production, opens the festival. The film won the best screenplay award from the Cannes Film Festival in its last session. It also participated in many festivals, including Chicago, Tokyo, Sarajevo and Hong Kong.
The events of the work take place in the Palestinian city of Haifa, and it deals with a crisis that a forty-year-old man suffers from depression, and begins a friendship with his swindler neighbor; Which puts him in many situations, and the film co-stars Amer Helihel, Ashraf Farah, Anat Hadid, and Samir Elias.
The official competition of the festival includes 12 films, and the jury consists of Tunisian producer Tawfiq Qiqa, Egyptian actress Hana Shiha, Macedonian critic Marina Kostova, Lebanese actress Nada Abu Farhat, and Muhannad Al-Bakri, director of the Jordanian Royal Film Commission.
Among the films in the official competition is the Palestinian film "Alam" by Firas Khoury, which won the Golden Pyramid Award at the 44th Cairo Film Festival, which presents a realistic experience of the Palestinian cause through a Palestinian teenager living in Israel who carries out a process called "Alam".
From the Palestinian issue of Sudanese women, the film "Heroic Bodies" competes, which reviews the oppression and violence to which women are subjected. Through it, director Sarah Suleiman documents the experience of some women revolting for better rights.
And on the resistance of Algerian women, the film “The Last Queen” directed by Adila Ben Demrad and Damien Honore, about the story of the Algerian Queen Zafira, will participate.
Also about women, the Moroccan movie “Queens” by Yasmine Benkirane revolves around two women and a teenage girl, each of whom seeks her freedom. Meanwhile, the Syrian film "Exodus" by director Soudad Kaadan documents the experience of two teenage girls whose house was demolished in one of the raids, and they have to choose between staying in Syria with their family or emigrating.
The film "Hanging Gardens", directed by the Iraqi Ahmed Yassin Al-Daradji, is also participating in the competition, which deals with the story of two brothers who live by collecting minerals from a landfill located next to a US army dump, and facing situations that threaten their brotherly bond.
And in the Egyptian film “19 B”, which won the Best Arab Film Award at the 44th Cairo Film Festival, director Ahmed Abdallah presents, within an hour and a half, a simple human experience of a real estate keeper in an upscale area who socializes his unit with a number of animals he takes care of, so he lives his daily routine, which is not disturbed by him. Other than entering into a struggle with some anarchists, the director reveals modernity and chaos that overwhelmed originality and a quiet life.
As for the Saudi film “The Crow’s Song,” directed by Mohammed Al-Salman, it tells of a hero who finds himself facing a group of different ideas and cultures.
In a humanitarian context, the events of the Tunisian film “Under the Tree” by Areej Al-Sehiri take place, which deals with a group of young men and women working on a farm in the Kesra region, northwest of Tunisia. They experience some feelings for the first time, try to understand each other, and seek to form new bonds.
Short Film Competition
In the short film competition, the jury consists of Lebanese actor Nicolas Moawad, French producer Daniel Ziskind, and Saudi director Diaa Youssef Al-Hilal.
17 films are competing, including the movie “Almaz” by director Mia Bitar from Sudan, and the Palestinian film “Hamza Chasing a Ghost Chasing Me” directed by Ward Kayal is also competing. From Palestine, the film “Palestine 87” by Bilal Al-Khatib is also competing, and from Egypt the movie “My Friend” is participating. Directed by Kawthar Younis, “Mama” directed by Naji Ismail, and “She is in Berlin” directed by Sondos Shababeek.
Lebanon is participating in more than one film, including “One for Eight” directed by Lynn Taweelah, “Master of the Twine” directed by Michel and Gabi Zarazir, “Yarqa” directed by Michel and Noel Kasrouani, and “Afar Away” directed by Rachel Aoun, in which Qatar is co-producing. "Show" by director Nadia Al-Khater of the State of Qatar in the competition.
From Saudi Arabia, the movie “An Old Phone Number” and the movie “Osman” by Khaled Zidan, while the Jordanian competition is represented by the movie “Torn” by Jaafar Moataz, a joint Jordanian-Swedish-Danish production, and the movie “Abd” by Abdel Salam Al-Hajj, and the Tunisian-Lebanese film will participate in the competition. “My Blood and My Meat” directed by Enas Al-Arsi, and the Iraqi movie “My Mother’s Hand” directed by Kardina Hemin.
In addition to the official competition and the short film competition, a group of films will also be shown in parallel programmes, including 4 within the “Arabian Nights” program, which are “Wadi Road” by Saudi director Khaled Fahd, “A Crossroads” by Lebanese director Lara Saba, and the Tunisian film “ Moez, the Black Way, directed by Muhammad Ali Al-Nahdi, and the Saudi movie “Al-Hamour” by Abdul-Ilah Al-Qurashi. A “special screening” will be held for 3 Saudi films: “The Secret of the Great Clover” by Sultan Rabie, “Kora” by Ziyad Al-Zahrani, and “The Old School”. Directed by Abdullah Al-Khamis.
In the "Audible Voices" program, a number of Jordanian films will be shown, namely "Umm Al-Ghaith" directed by Abeer Bayazidi, "Belonging to a Soul" directed by Aseel Yassin, "Zeina" directed by Zaid Bawab, "She Will" directed by Muhannad Lafi, and "Warda". Directed by Rahma Al Shammas, two films will be screened in the “Movies Worth Watching” program, namely “Three Promises” by Youssef Srouji, a Palestinian film, and the Moroccan film “Summer in Bajaad” directed by Omar Mall Al-Doueira.