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14 films vie for top honours at DTFF

Doha, September 21, 2011

A total of 14 features films and documentaries will compete for top honours in Arab Film Competition section of the annual 'Doha Tribeca Film Festival’s (DTFF)' which opens on October 25.

The feature films list includes A Man of Honour (Jean-Claude Codsi); Red Heart (Halkawt Mustafa); How Big Is Your Love (Fatma Zohra Zamoum); El Shooq / Lust (Khaled El Hagar); Smuggler’s Song (Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche); Normal (Merzak Allouache) and Omar Killed Me (Roschdy Zem).

These films will showcase the strength and quality of Arab films produced throughout the Mena region in the past year, said the event organisers, Doha Film Institute (DFI).

Leading the five-member narrative film competition Jury will be award-winning Syrian director Mohammed Malas, a filmmaking auteur widely recognised across the Arab World for his critical and socially engaging cinema.

Featuring 8 world premieres, the contest, in its second year, has been expanded and split into two juried segments of narrative and documentary films, with a set of new awards up for grabs including: Best Arab narrative feature; Arab narrative director; narrative performance award; Arab documentary feature; and Arab documentary director.

The Festival will also feature two audience awards; for Best narrative film and documentary with cash prizes of $100,000 each.

Jury president Malas, received widespread international acclaim for his narrative and documentary films and has won a number of awards at film festivals around the world.

Among his most important films are Dreams of the City (1983) and The Night (1992) based on auto-biographical motifs, as well as The Dream (1981), a documentary that was shot in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut shortly before the massacres of 1982.

Highlighting the importance of the competition for regional filmmakers, Malas said: 'To be selected as jury president is a great honour and also a great responsibility – one which I take very seriously- especially with the current changes in the Arab world.'

'The competition is an important tool for supporting and promoting Arab films in this part of the world and providing an important recognition to emerging and established filmmakers.'

'It places select regional films up on an international platform, opening up various doors for films to gain exposure and distribution opportunities outside of the Arab World, which remains a fundamental issue within the regional industry,' he added.

DFI executive director Amanda Palmer said, “Having someone of Malas’ calibre lead our narrative jury, whose films have profoundly shaped the identity of realistic Arab Cinema, will bring the level of insight, experience and understanding needed to discover and illuminates storytellers from this region.”

The competition will feature a diverse and wide ranging lineup, including seven narrative films and seven documentaries, which center around childhood and love, the turbulence of revolution, the inner world of Arab life and films which reveal the true nature of the lives of contemporary Arab women.

All films at the Festival will be subtitled in both Arabic and English, aiming to provide full cinematic access for audiences, said Palmer.

Led by Palmer, the DFI programming team comprises chief Arab programmer Hania Mroue, head of international programming, Ludmila Cvikova, and resident filmmaker and programmer Chadi Zeneddine.

According to Mroue, these films capture the lives, loves and modern day realities faced by everyday people in the region.

'They reflect the dreams, imagination, ideas and aspirations of the Arab world, both defined geographically and as people scattered around the globe,' she noted.

'We are looking forward to showing audiences around the world the diversity of stories from our region – helmed by first-time filmmakers and seasoned auteurs – that truly highlight the richness of Arab talent and storytelling,' she added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Qatar | Doha Tribeca Film Festival | Arab films |

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