Film Festival to honour Bahraini filmmaker
Dubai, March 26, 2012
The 5th Gulf Film Festival will honour veteran Bahraini filmmaker Bassam Al-Thawadi in recognition of his contribution to strengthening the regional film industry and his pioneering role in the Bahraini film industry.
Al-Thawadi will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award on April 10 for directing the country’s first feature film, The Barrier, in 1990.
The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), at venues in and around Dubai Festival City.
Al-Thawadi had served on the jury of the international shorts competition of the Gulf Film Festival last year and also the jury of the Muhr Arab Features of Dubai International Film Festival.
Since 2007, he has been the head of the drama and documentary section at Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation. A founding member of the GCC Cinema Society, Al-Thawadi is also the founder and director-general of the first Arab Cinema Festival in Bahrain since 2000 and served on the jury of the Arab Film Festival in Paris. He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Cinema in Cairo.
Al Thawadi is regarded as an Arab filmmaker who displays remarkable flexibility in style and subject, narrating tales of social concern in a simple yet striking manner, said a statement.
He directed three films, The Barrier (1990), which was screened at several international film festivals; Visitor (2004), Bahrain’s second feature film and the first in Dolby Sound system in the Gulf, and A Bahraini Tale (2006). He also produced Four Girls and Haneen through the Bahrain Film Production.
Screened at the Dubai International Film Festival 2006, A Bahraini Tale is an epic drama set during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. It is both the personal story of a middle-class Bahraini family and an account of the hopes and faith the Arab world had in Gamal Abdel Nasser as its leader. The film won critical acclaim for skillfully interweaving a deep sense of reality and romanticism.
Pursuing his interest in photography as a teenager and making his own series of short films on 8 mm, he directed the short films, The Mask and Angels of the Earth, while he was a student at Cairo. He joined Bahrain TV in 1985 and has been involved in the production of a variety of programmes, produced commercials and educational & cultural programmes. Passionate about theatre, Al-Thawadi has performed in many plays.
Al-Thawadi was chairman of the Al Sawari Video Festival of 1994 and a member of the judging committee of the Baghdad International Television & Film Festival in 1988.
He organised the New Egyptian Cinema Days Festival in Bahrain in 1993, and was the director of the fifth Arab Music Festival in 1996.
“Bassam Al-Thawadi has relentlessly pursued his passion for cinema, even at a time when the industry was hardly recognised or evolved in the region. His love for films is only matched by his dedication to promote new and upcoming talent in the industry,” said Masoud Amralla Al Ali, director, Gulf Film Festival. “Over the years, he has also continuously refined his craft, adapting new technologies without losing sight of the fundamentals.”
GFF 2012 will go on till April 16 at the InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Grand Festival Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. – TradeArabia News Service
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