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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

UK film festival celebrates Arab female filmmakers

Feature films by Egyptian directors Hanan Abdalla and Hala Lotfy will be screened among a rich programme of films at this year's Birds Eye View Film Festival in London

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Apr 2013
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Still shot from 'Coming Forth by Day' by Egyptian director Hala Lotfy
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Hailed as an advocate for women filmmakers from across the globe, the annual Birds Eye View Film Festival will this year spotlight female Arab directors. The festival will take place from 3-10 April in cultural venues across London.

A diverse line-up made up of short films, documentary, and features produced by female filmmakers from across the Arab world. A programme of events, music performances and Q&As with directors will be held in parallel to the film screenings.

Palestinian film 'Lamma Shoftak' (When I Saw You) by Annemarie Jacir will be screened on Wednesday, the opening night, followed by a Q&A session with the director. Set in 1967 Jordan, the film tells the story of a free-spirited boy named Tarek, who escapes a Palestinian refugee camp and joins a group of freedom fighters.

A film by Egyptian director Hala Lotfy, who was awarded the prize for best director at the Abu Dhabi film festival, will make its UK debut on 6 April. 'Coming Forth By Day,' which was screened at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, is a haunting tale of a single woman in her thirties nursing her ill father, faced with the temptation to escape to a life of her own.

Another Egyptian film, 'In the Shadow of a Man' by Hanan Abdalla, named best documentary director at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, will be screened on 5 April, followed by a Q&A with the director. This film zooms in on the lives and struggles of four Egyptian women in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution.

Other films scheduled to be screened during this Arab women filmmakers saga include 'El-Gusto,' directed by the Algerian Safinez Bousbia, 'Habibi Rasak Kharban' (Darling Something's Wrong With Your Head), a story of forbidden love set in Gaza, directed by Susan Youssef, one of the Arab world's foremost contemporary directors, among others.

The film screenings, live performances and parallel events will take place in the following London venues:

BFI Southbank
Belvedere Rd, Southbank, London SE1 8XT

Barbican
Silk St, London

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Rd, Southbank, London SE1 8XX

ICA
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Hackney Picturehouse
270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE

More info is available here.

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