Bastardo and Giraffada to compete at the Beirut International Film Festival

Nejib Beldakhi and Rani Massalha's films among 78 to screen at the festival from October 1 to 9

Events and Festivals, Lebanon

Bastardo and Giraffada to compete at the Beirut International Film Festival

The 14th edition of the Beirut International Film Festival (BIFF) will open on October 1 at Abraj theaters in Furn el Shebbak with Clouds of Sils Maria, by French director Olivier Assayas, reports Iloubnan. The festival will close on October 9 with A Most Wanted Man, by Anton Corbijn.

Festival director Colette Naufal held a press conference on Wednesday, stressing that “the growing reputation of the festival” allowed it to win the premiere screening in the Middle East of Cloud of Sils Maria, one of the main contenders for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. 
Naufal explained that the 78 films on the festival agenda would be screened in its Middle East Film Competition and 6 other sections. 

This year’s edition features the return of the Middle Eastern Feature Film category after a two-year absence, in addition to the Middle Eastern Short Film and the Middle Eastern Documentary. 

Other categories are the international Panorama, the Rejection Front with its two subcategories – Public Square and Culinary and Ecology Movies – in addition to the Human Rights Watch section, a retrospective on Italian Director Roberto Rossellini and a Spotlight on the works of Irish director and film critic Mark Cousins.

After a two-year absence, the Middle Eastern Feature Film category returns this year with four films by directors from Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine and Iran. One of the main contenders for the ALEPH award for best Middle Eastern Feature Film is Bastardo, by Tunisian director Nejib Beldakhi. The film won the Grand Prix for best Feature Film during the 20th edition of the International Festival of Mediterranean Film in Tetouan, in addition to the best Feature Film in the African, Asian and Latin America Film Festival in Milano. 

Another contender for the ALEPH award for best Middle Eastern Feature Film is Giraffada, the first Feature Film of Rani Massalha, a Palestinian director living in France.

La Preuve by Algerian director Amor Hakkar is contending as well for the same award. The film stars Nabil Asli, a young actor who won Best Actor at Algeria’s Maghreb Film Festival for his role in the film.

This category also features the Kurdish-language film The Last Winter by Iranian director Salem Salavati. The film already won the Jury Special Award at Baghdad Film Festival, the FIPRESCI Award at the Yerevan Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Armenia, the Best International Film Award at the First Erbil International Film Festival, in addition to the Best Director and Best Actress prizes at the Duhok International Film Festival in Iraq. 

The Middle Eastern Documentary competition features seven films, among which are two from Egypt and one film from each of Tunisia, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey and Syria. The ALEPH award will be granted for the Best Film in this category, in addition to one for Best Director and a Jury Special Award. 

Two Egyptian films will compete under this section: the documentary All Around Alexandria by Faten El Bendarie and Mohamed Essam’s Portrait: Hassan El Shark, which was awarded the Jury Prize at the Festival International du Film Transsaharien de Zagora, Morocco, 2013. 

The competition also includes Challat of Tunis by Kaouther Ben Hania and Hodgkin’s, a film by Bahraini director Mohammed Jassim, awarded Best Documentary and Best Director at the Accolade Film Festival in California. 

Living with Leviathan, by Turkish director Şirin Bahar Demirel, who won the Special Jury Award in the 22nd International ContraVision Film Festival in Berlin and the PhoneDox Award in ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival in Croatia, is also taking part in this section.

Among the films listed in this category is Syria Inside, directed by Tamer Alawam who was killed a few months ago in fighting in Aleppo. His colleagues, including director Jan Heilig, finalised the documentary. 


Source: Iloubnan

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