05/12/2014

Egyptian, Palestinian short films to premiere in Dubai

Short films by Lebanese, Tunisian and Jordanian filmmakers also selected for the festival

Events and Festivals, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan

Egyptian, Palestinian short films to premiere in Dubai

A myriad of short films by Arab filmmakers will be screening at the Dubai International Film Festival from December 10 to 17, starting with no less than three Egyptian films screening in the competitive Muhr Shorts section.

Ahmed Ibrahim's Al Matour (Egypt)is making its world premiere in the section. When 25-year-old Yasser and his two friends find themselves in a secluded spot in the desert, they are forced to confront each other and themselves. The director's previous short Noor won the Best Muhr Arab Short at the festival in 2012. The film's cinematographer is Tarek Hefny, who notably shot el Ott and Decor.

Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Khaled's White Sugar (Egypt) is also making its world premiere. It tells the story of a man trying to escape his world of fears, by fighting the rules and introducing his own credo.

After its premiere in Cannes, Egyptian filmmaker Omar el Zohairy's The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375 (Egypt) will make its Middle East and North Africa premiere in the same section. A rough adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Death of a Government Clerk (1883), The Aftermath is a black comedy on the absurdity of modern life, Zohairy told Euromed Audiovisual in Cannes.

From Palestine,Mohanad Yaqubi's No Exit is also making its world debut at the festival. Like many people of his generation, Ali has decided to run away from the hardships of war. Along his way, he meets a strange person in a bus station.

Two short films from Tunisia will also make their world premiere. In Khadija Fatma Lemkecher's The Night of the Blind Moon, Aisha, Tibr and Bouka decide to take part in a mythical ceremony in a cemetery to avoid celibacy. In Shiraz Fradi's Scorched Earth (Tunisia), 25-year-old Yasmine stands in front of her lover's body, four hours after killing him.

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From the Levant, there will be Rami Yasin's In Overtime (Jordan and Palestine). When 40-year-old Amir visits his ailing father in hospital intending to reveal a long held secret, their dysfunctional relationship gets in the way. The short film is co-produced and edited by Anne-Marie Yacir (When I Saw You). In Jordanian director Yassmina Karajah’s film Light (Canada, Lebanon), a Lebanese man living in an adopted country is devastated by the death of his newborn son. His mother requests that he perform a religious pre-burial ritual in the hospital. And Bassem Breich's Free Range (Germany and Lebanon) is the story of a cow that crosses the border from Israel to Lebanon and meets with 16-year-old Malakeh and her family.

The Arabian Nights section will screen yet more Palestinian films, short and long.

Alongside Egyptian director Amir Ramsis' feature Cairo Time (world premiere), Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab's The Valley, Emirati directorAli F. Mustafa's From A to B, and Khalid Soliman El Nassiry, Gabriele Grande and Antonio Augugliaro's On the Bride's Side, is Palestinian director Wafa Jamil's documentary Coffee for All Nations (Palestine, Sweden and UAE). In 1948, the Israeli army forced Abed’s family to abandon their homes in the village of el-Walaja near Bethlehem. Abed moves into a small cave on his land, where he decides to open up a coffee shop for all nations.

Two collections of short films by Palestinian filmmakers will also be screened. Suspended Time, a collection of films by directors Alaa Al Ali, Ameen Nayfeh, Asma Ghanem, Assem Nasser, Ayman Azraq, Mahdi Fleifel (A Life Not Ours, Xenos), Muhannad Salahat, Tarzan and Arab Nasser (Condom Lead, Med Film Factory participants) and Yazan Khalili, was conceived as a way to understand the status quo of image production 20 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington, D.C. in 1993.

In Unknown Soldiers, first-time directors Ahmad Amro, Hamza Khalifa, Jaber Abu Rahmeh, Mahmoud Hathaleen, Oday Al Taneeb, Rwan Tamimi, Sara Dhedel illustrate their perspective of life under occupation and non-violent resistance.

 

Images: Stills from No Exit and The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375.

 

White Sugar -- trailer (Arabic with English subtitles):

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