24/10/2014

South Mediterranean films and filmmakers at Montpellier 2014

Euromed Audiovisual partners with Cinemed to invite guests from the region

Events and Festivals, Euromed Audiovisual News, Grant Project Activities

South Mediterranean films and filmmakers at Montpellier 2014

This year's Cinemed Montpellier International Mediterranean Film Festival is almost upon us, with a great selection of films and guests from the South Mediterranean. The festival runs from October 25 to November 1.

This year, Euromed Audiovisual has partnered with Cinemed to invite several filmmakers and producers from the region to attend the festival and its professional event, the Cinemed Meetings from October 28 to 30. These are to include a debate on co-producing in the Mediterranean region, and one-to-one co-production meetings. 

Tunisan director and producer Najib Belkadhi will thus be attending, especially as his film Bastardo is in the main competition.

Also from Tunisia, production designer, producer and filmmaker Taieb Jallouli is preparing his first 3D animation feature film Kenza et la robe de lumière (lit. "Kenza and the dress of light").

Moroccan-born filmmaker Kamal Hachkar is also among the guests. His first long documentary Tinghir-Jerusalem (2013) about Jews and Muslims living together in this Berber town under the French won Best First Film in Tangier in 2013.

From Lebanon, Myriam Sassine will attend from Abbout productions, a company founded by filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, who notably directed The Lebanese Rocket Society. Abbout Productions is currently co-producing Syrian artist and filmmaker Hazem Elhamwi's Caravan in a Room with the French company Cosmographe. The project took part in the DOCmed documentary development programme co-funded by Euromed Audiovisual.

Syrian filmmaker and producer Hala Alabdalla will also be present. After working with big names in Syrian cinema such as Omar Amiralay, Mohammad Malas and Ossama Mohammad, she then made her own documentaries. Her latest, As If We Were Catching a Cobra, followed cartoonists in the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings. She has trained young documentary filmmakers as part of the DOCmed programme.

Festival goers will be treated to an array of films from the South Mediterranean this year.

Two films are to make their French premieres in Montpellier: Algerian director Lyes Salem's The Man from Oran and Dancing Arabs, directed by prolific filmmaker Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride), to a screenplay by Arab-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua, based on his first book of the same name.

In the main feature film competition, vying for the Golden Antigone that Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Abdalla El Sayed won last year for Rags and Tatters, are Tunisian filmmaker Najib Belkhadi'sBastardo and Moroccan director Mohamed Amin Benamraoui's Adios Carmen and Israeli director Asaf Korman's first Next to Her. All three titles are the director's first films.

In the Panorama section for narrative features, festival goers will be able to see Suha Arraf's stateless Villa Touma, Hasan Legzouli's The Golden Cow from Morocco, and Bahia Allouache's Cinema Bidon from Algeria.

In the long documentary competition, Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Nour's mediation on revolution Waves will be competing against French-Algerian film Chantier A by Tarek Sami, Lucie Dèche, Karim Loualiche, in which a young man returns to Algeria after emigrating. Also in the competition will be Israeli filmmaker Tamara Erde's This is My Land (a film developed during the Greenhouse documentary development programme supported by Euromed Audiovisual) about the way the Israeli-Palestinian land conflict is taught in classrooms in Israel and Palestine.

Several films from the region are competing in the short film competition: Omar El Zohairy's Cannes selectee The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375from Egypt, Hassene Belaid's The Brother-in-Law, from Algeria, Cristophe M. Saber's Discipline (Egypt and Switzerland), Nadim Tabet and Karim Wehbe's Summer 91 (Lebanon and France) and Lotfi Achour's Father (Tunisia and France). They will notably compete against Amitai Ashkenazi's Until the End of the Day, Inbar Horesh's The Visit and Maya Sarfaty's Remember Ata'lle from Israel.

The festival is also honouring French actress of Algerian origian Leila Bekhti (A Prophet, The Source).

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