14 Gulf films for Morocco film festival
Dubai, January 31, 2012
Fourteen films by Arab filmmakers have been selected for a special programme celebrating Gulf cinema at an upcoming film festival in Tissa, Morocco.
The fifth edition of the Festival du Court Mertage Maghribo-Asiatique (Asian-Moroccan Festival of Short Films) will be held from February 23 to 26.
The selection of films, selected from Dubai’s Gulf Film Festival, including award-winners from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq, is the result of a new partnership between the Gulf Film Festival and the Tissa festival.
The programme includes UAE films Sabeel, directed by Khalid Al Mahmood, and Slow Death, directed by Jamal Salim. Sabeel, written by Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, which won the first prize at the Official Gulf Competition of GFF 2011 as well as the best script award.
Included from Saudi Arabia are Aayesh directed by Abdullah Al-Eyaf, which won first prize at GFF 2010, and Football.. Baby? directed by Abdullah Ahmad.
From Oman, films heading to the Tissa festival include Leaking, the first prize winner of the Student Competition at GFF 2010, directed by Amjad Al Hinai and Khamis Ambo-Saidi; and Spices, directed by Amer Alrawas and the winner of the special mention award at the Official Gulf Competition in 2011.
The selections from Bahrain include Canary, directed by Mohammed Rashed Bu Ali and The Power of Generations, directed by Mohammed Jassim.
The Kuwaiti films selected are Heaven’s Water, directed by Abdullah Boushahri, which also won a special mention for its actress Haya Abdulsalam at the Official Gulf Competition in 2011, and Sneeze, directed by Meqdad Al Kout.
Jassim Mohammed Jassim’s Semi-Illuminated, and Land of the Heroes, directed by Sahim Omar Kalifa, are the films selected from Iraq.
Director Sophia Al-Marry’s Kanary and Demi Plie, directed by Faisal Al-Thani, which won special mention in the GFF 2011 Student Competition are the selections from Qatar.
Said Bakloul, general co-coordinator of the Asian-Moroccan Festival of Short Films, said: “We decided to open up our festival to Arab films, especially those from the Gulf region, due to the quantum leap the region’s cinema has witnessed recently.”
“The growth of the film industry in the Gulf has been both quantitative and qualitative, with the films distinguished for their creativity and elegance. The fifth edition of our Festival aims at introducing the Moroccan audience to this changing face of Arabian Gulf cinema, and enhancing their appreciation in Morocco. We thank the organisers of the Gulf Film Festival for their sincere cooperation with our festival.”
Salah Sermini, GFF consultant and coordinator of the Tissa-GFF programme, said: “The showcase in Tissa is an important part of our work to support and showcase Gulf and Arab films and filmmakers at home and abroad. The Gulf Film Festival is the start of many journeys for student and professional filmmakers, and we look forward to welcoming a new crop of filmmakers and films to the festival this April.”
The fifth edition of the Gulf Film Festival will be held in Dubai from April 10 to 16, 2012.
Submissions to the Festival’s Gulf professional and student competitions, international shorts competition and its out of competition segments are now open online at gulffilmfest.com. Entries will be accepted until February 29. – TradeArabia News Service