The 10th edition of the acclaimed Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) will take place between 8 and 13 October in Sweden with no changes to the dates.
The festival released a note on its website addressing the coronavirus outbreak reassuring that the festival and the MAFF Market Forum would take place as planned.
"Certainly, and as always, we are following the health and political authorities’ instructions and guidelines to ensure that MAFF’s participants, guests, public visitors, and employees are staying safe. On the other hand, we are making some studies for alternative possibilities to hold the festival on the scheduled timing. For example, a distance online festival. We hope you are staying healthy and safe," the notification reads.
The announcement comes in times when numerous film festivals and other cultural activities are being postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Statista, the Swedish statistical agency, the first case of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Sweden was confirmed 4 February 2020. The number of confirmed cases in the country had reached a total of 56,043 as of 18 June 2020, the agency said.
With the current tendency of re-opening cultural activities across the globe, the Malmö Arab Film Festival might be among the first such events to avoid cancellation or postponement. MAFF organisers are yet to reconfirm the festival's activities and format of its upcoming edition.
MAFF is the biggest film festival dedicated to Arab cinema in the Scandinavian region, and one of the largest such events outside the Arab world.
Throughout its nine editions, the festival has featured hundreds of films by Arab directors, with Egypt making waves on a number of occasions.
Last year Ahmad Abdalla's Leil Khargy (EXT. Night) won the Best Feature Film Award. In the same edition, film Youm W Leila (A Day and a Night) by Egyptian director Ayman Makram was screened at the closing ceremony.
In 2018, Egypt was the festival's guest of honour with a focus created on Egyptian cinema with the film Photocopy by Tamer Ashry, receiving the City of Malmö's Audience Award.
In 2016, Egyptian films Nawara and Hepta were selected respectively as the opening and closing films of the 6th Malmo Arab Film Festival.
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