For the seventh year in a row, Arab Cinema Center (ACC) returns to the 79th edition of Venice International Film Festival with a wide range of activities. This year’s activities are launched in collaboration with 13 partners (institutions, companies and film festivals) and include film screenings, awards ceremonies and panel discussions.
The partners who will join ACC at the Venice International Film Festival are: (in alphabetical order) Arab Radio & Television (ART) (Saudi Arabia), Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) (Egypt), El Gouna Film Festival (Egypt), Film Clinic (Egypt), IEFTA (Monaco), Lagoonie Film Production (Egypt), MAD Solutions (Egypt, UAE, Lisbon) and its two affiliated companies (MAD Celebrity and MAD Distribution), Malmo Arab Film Festival (Sweden), NEOM (Saudi Arabia), The Film Verdict (USA) and The Imaginarium Films (Jordan).
As part of Venice Production Bridge, a platform hosting experts and film professionals from all over the world through screenings, panel discussions and meetings, a panel discussion titled “ Saudi Arabia: A New Key Player” is held between Wayne Borg (Managing Director, Media, Entertainment and Culture, NEOM), Filipe Martin Gomes (Head of Innovation Programs King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Ithra ), Charlene Deleon-Jones (Executive Director, Film AlUla), Abduljalil AlNasser (General Manager of Sector Development & Investment Attraction, Saudi Arabia Film Commission), Shivani Pandya (Managing Director, Red Sea International Film Festival). The discussion is moderated by Italian journalist Nick Vivarelli, Variety’s Middle East correspondent. Moreover, shahid and OSN, platforms will participate in the “VOD MARKET DAY: MEET THE STREAMERS” event, part of the Venice Bridge activities.
8 Arab Films Competing at Venice:
OUR TIES (LES MIENS)| Main Competition| Roschdy Zem| Morocco
FOR MY COUNTRY| Orizzonti Competition| Rachid Hami| Algeria
NEZOUH| Orizzonti Extra Competition| Soudade Kaadan| Syria (Starring Kinda Alloush, Samer Al Masri and distributed in the Arab world by MAD Distribution)
HANGING GARDENS| Orizzonti Extra Competition| Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji| Iraq ( Distributed in the Arab world by Film Clinic Indie Distribution)
MY GIRL FRIEND| Orizzanti Short Film Competition| Kawthar Younis| Egypt
DIRTY, DIFFICULT, DANGEROUS| Giornate degli Autori (Opening Film)| Wissam Charaf| Lebanon (Distributed in the Arab world by MAD Distribution)
THE LAST QUEEN| Giornate degli Autori| Adila Bendimerad, Damien Ounouri| Algeria (Distributed in the Arab world by Arab Radio & Television-ART)
THE DAMNED DON'T CRY| Giornate degli Autori| Fyzal Boulifa| Morocco
QUEENS| Venice International Film Critics’ Week| Yasmine Benkiran| Morocco
On the sidelines of the Final Cut in Venice workshop, MAD Solutions will grant its special award, which comprises promotional and distribution services, while El Gouna Film Festival will offer a cash award ($5,000). 3 Arab films compete for the awards at the workshop; BACKSTAGE, by Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane (Morocco); BLACK LIGHT, by Karim Bensalah (Algeria) and INSHALLAH A BOY, by Amjad Al Rasheed (Jordan), which is distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions and Lagoonie Film Production. Additionally, 3 documentaries will be in competition; A FIDAI FILM, by Kamal Aljafari (Palestine); LAND OF WOMEN, by Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir (Egypt) and SUSPENDED, by Myriam El Hajj (Lebanon).
While Venice Gap-Financing Market will feature 4 Arab films; 5 SEASONS OF REVOLUTION (Syria),THE 67TH SUMMER (Egypt), FATNA, A WOMAN NAMED RASHID (Morocco) and immersive project KANDAKA (Sudan).
On a parallel note, during the events of festival, ACC will release the 17th edition of Arab Cinema Magazine, which features “75 Years of Palestinian Cinema” campaign and celebrates women in cinema. In addition to that, the edition reveals various articles written by prominent Arab figures, namely Egyptian iconic star Youssra, Palestinian directors (Najwa Najjar and Basil Khalil) and Palestinian Researcher and Novelist Saleem Albeik.
About Arab Cinema Center:
Founded by MAD Solutions in 2015, Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is a non profit organization, which promotes for Arab cinema and provides a professional window to connect film professionals with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes. ACC provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The ACC's activities vary between film markets, stands, and pavilions, networking sessions and one-on-one meetings bringing together Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, meetings with international organizations and festivals, and the issuance of the Arab Cinema Magazine to be distributed at the leading international film festivals and markets.
Furthermore, a newsletter subscription is now available on the ACC's website, allowing users to obtain digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, news on the ACC's activities, notifications of application dates for grants, festivals and offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab films screening at festivals, exclusive news on ACC's partners and their future projects.
ACC launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that provides a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives easily identify Arab film productions.