The 12 titles shortlisted for the Dubai International Film Festival hail from Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan; and they stood out among over 110 entries received from more than 17 countries. The post-production fund annually selects up to 15 films to receive up to US$100,000 each to help Arab and Arab-origin filmmakers bridge the gap between production and a screen-ready product.
The Egyptian documentaryDoaa... Aziza by Saad Hindawy is among the selected films. It follows the fates of two women, posing questions regarding identity and belonging. One is an Egyptian raised in France who decides to move to Egypt to reclaim her sense of identity, the other an Egyptian who decides to deal with her alienation by moving to France.
The fund has chosen a large number of Lebanese entries including the feature film Beirut Hotel and five documentaries: Che Guevara Died in Lebanon, Confession and Struggle, Gate No. 5, Yamo (Mum) and Sector Zero. Morrocan films include the documentary Hercule vs. Hermes and the feature film L’Amante du Rif (The Rif Lovers). Other films include the debut documentary Uncle Nashaat by the Jordanian-Palestinian director Aseel Mansour and The Invisible Policeman, a Palestinian feature film, as well as the Jordanian feature film The Last Friday.