Two Egyptian films, one exhibition to participate in Berlinale's Forum Expanded

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Jan 2017

Forum Expanded will also feature films from other Arab countries: Qatar, Lebanon and Palestine

Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory
Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory (photo: film still)

Three Egyptian films and installations, as well as several Qatari, Lebanese and Palestinian films, will be shown at this year’s Berlinale Forum Expanded.

The exhibition will open on 8 February, and the film screenings will run from 10 February until the Berlin International Film Festival ends on 19 February.

The Forum section of the Berlinale showcases avant-garde, experimental works, political reportage and many overall different and daring works. In this section, documentaries and feature films alike “straddle the line between art and cinema.”

Forum Expanded, which was launched in 2006, presents film, video installations and live performances on varying themes and in multiple venues across Berlin.

This year, two Egyptian films will take part in the Forum Expanded film category -- Seif Taghreeby (Experimental Summer) and One Plus One Makes a Pharaoh’s Chocolate Cake -- and one installation from Egypt.

Seif Taghreeby (Experimental Summer, 2016) is directed by Mohamed Lotfy and follows Mahmoud and Zeinab, on the search for the original version of an 1980s Egyptian film, copies of which were confiscated -- for unknown reasons -- by the government film agency at the time of its release. Egyptian director Mahmoud Lotfy is an independent director and one of the founders of Otaku Digital Film production company, which is behind Seif Taghreeby.

The Swiss-Egyptian production One Plus One makes Pharaoh’s Chocolate Cake, directed by Marouan Omara and Islam Kamal is a documentary that centres on two musicians -- Islam Chipsy, a pioneer of Egypt’s Mahraganat music genre that fuses electronic and acoustic sounds on his keyboards, and Swiss electronic musician Aisha Devi.

The film, which was produced by Alexandria-based studio Fig Leaf, will premiere at the Forum Expanded.

Forum Expanded group exhibition will also feature one Egyptian installation: Hawamesh Aan Al-Hegra (Footnotes on Migration), by Take to the Sea.

Films from several other Arab countries will be taking part in the section as well.

Two Lebanese films will be screened: the Qatari-Lebanese production Sokun Al Sulhufat (Turtles are Always Home), by Rawane Nassif; and Not Every Day is Spring, by Haig Aivazin.

The Palestinian-French-Qatari production Off Frame AKA Revolution until Victory by Mohanad Yaquibi, will also take part in the programme. To create the film, director Yaquibi searched through archives around the world for films by the Palestinian Film Unit (PFU), a militant filmmaking collective whose aim was to accompany the Palestinian Revolution and bring it into international view.

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