The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and Málaga Film Festival (March 15-24) have announced the selection of the feature film project Montreal Girls by Canadian director Patricia Chica for the MAFF - Málaga Film Festival Fund & Co-production Event, and the selection of the documentary film project Noom El Deek by Egyptian-American director Seif Abdalla for the Málaga Work In Progress.
Montreal Girls is Patricia Chica's feature debut after directing 20 shorts. Her shorts have been warmly received by audiences and won her over 25 awards and five nominations from international film festivals. Montreal Girls tells the story of an exciting new world that opens up for Egyptian student Basil when he meets two women who shatter his perceptions and reveal his destiny to him.
Egyptian American filmmaker Seif Abdalla studied film at the Los Angeles Film School. He made many experimental short films that got him recognition in the festival circuit and won awards, including Norhan, which was selected for the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. Noom El Deek is his debut feature documentary. Noom El Deek is a Sudanese phrase which roughly translates to "the roosters sleep on a rope", but it carries a different meaning: a person who tries to sleep standing, trapped between a state of slumber and wakefulness, one who is stuck in limbo; such is the reality of Sudanese refugees living in Cairo.
The winning film project of the MAFF - Málaga Film Festival Fund & Co-production Event will have the opportunity to connect with the international funding institutions attending the festival and producers from Spain and other European countries, while the Málaga Work In Progress focuses on financing film production, facilitating its completion and international distribution.
Through its website, the Arab Cinema Center had announced call for submissions to Arab film projects for participating in the MAFF - Málaga Film Festival Fund & Co-production Event and Málaga Work In Progress. This comes under an agreement between the Arab Cinema Center and the Málaga Film Festival that acknowledges the selection of Arab film projects to participate in the festival's activities. Under this agreement, the Málaga Film Festival covers the accommodation and accreditation for the producers or directors of the film projects taking part in both the co-production fund event and the workshop. This is the first initiative dedicated to the Arab film industry in the history of the Málaga Film Festival.
The Málaga Film Festival was launched in 1998. Through its previous editions, the festival helped in supporting and boosting Spanish films on both national and international levels, along with promoting the Spanish city of Málaga as a cultural city open to different cultures. The Málaga Film Festival aims to promote film culture and reach audiences from all over the world.
This initiative comes as part of the ACC's strategy of promoting the Arab film industry internationally and supporting Arab filmmakers. In January 2019, the ACC selected producer Amir El-Shenawy to attend the Rotterdam Lab after his feature documentary project The Fountain of Bakhchisarai by director Mohamed Taher won the ACC Award at the Cairo Film Connection (CFC). The award is an invitation given to the winning project's producer to attend the Rotterdam Lab. Last month, the Arab Cinema Center
gave the Arab Cinema Personality of The Year award to Screenwriter and Producer Mohamed Hefzy, President of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF). The award was presented by The Hollywood Reporter at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.
Organized by MAD Solutions, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) celebrates its fifth year since its inception in 2015. A nonprofit organization registered in Amsterdam, the ACC is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes. The ACC also 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 market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, as well as 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, newsletter subscription is now available on the ACC's website, allowing users to obtain digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, as well as news on the ACC's activities, notifications of application dates for grants, festivals and offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab films participating at festivals, exclusive news on the Arab Cinema LAB, and highlights from the ACC's partners and their future projects.
The ACC also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that comprises a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside of the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives to easily identify Arab film productions.
The Arab Cinema Center announced the launch of the MAD 3ARABI (Arab Flow) in Prague, Czech Republic. The festival aims to introduce the Arab culture and focus on the film and TV industry, flowing Arab entertainment and culture onto European shores, and also providing an extension for Arab filmmakers and content creators in the entertainment industry to reach new shores.