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Paris-based Seasons of the Arab Cinema to wrap up second edition

This year's edition screened a total of 21 films from across the Arab region

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Apr 2016
The Gate of Departure
Still from The Gate of Departure. (Photo: Courtesy of MAD Solutions)
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This year’s second edition of Mawassem: Saisons du Cinéma Arabe (Seasons of the Arab Cinema), which opened 7 April and screened a total of 21 films from across the Arab region, will close Monday.

The Paris-based film week screened a total of five feature films, five documentary films and 11 short films from 11 Arab countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Egypt and Iraq.

The screened films range from being productions that “break taboos” and “offering different treatments, both in terms of content and filmic style.”

The selected short films “unearth attempts by a creative and talented new generation of filmmakers, whose works received international awards,” France 24 quoted the organisers as saying.

Amongst the selected long feature films were the Iraqi productions Qabl Seqoot Al-Thalg and Samt Al-Rai, both of which were screened in France for the first time. Also, the award-winning Egyptian film Bab Al-Wadaa (The Gate of Departure) by director Karim Hanafy will be screened today, 10 April. The film is scheduled to screen again on 14 April at Alexandria’s Wekalet Behna, and will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Hanafy.

This year’s edition also honoured the late iconic Syrian filmmaker and artist Nabil Maleh, who died 24 February this year.

Mawassem: Saisons du Cinéma Arabe was founded in an attempt to “present this (Arab) cinema to the Parisian audience” and “propagate another image of Arabs, one that is beautiful and stands away from the typical (stereotypical) image imposed on them,” France 24 Arabic quoted the organisers as saying.

As such, the organisers bring the Parisian audience what they call a “new Arab cinema” which “staunchly defends freedom, tells tales of hope and despair, and expresses the story of people. At a time when ISIS (Islamic State group) seeks to control minds and places, Mawassem, through its film choices, declares cinema as a site for dreams.” 

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