Berlin Arab Film Festival to open next Wednesday

MENA, Monday 31 Oct 2011

With a focus on humour in Arab film, the third Berlin Arab Film Festival will be screening a diverse selection of contemporary and classic Arab films

A Gown and Shoes
A Gown and Shoes by Ahmed Nour is among the films screened in the festival

The third Arab Film Festival in Berlin (AlFilm) will open on 2 November with a number of screenings of Egyptian films, including the documentary Mamnua (Forbidden) by Amal Ramsis and 18 Days, a collective film of 10 shorts all revolving around the 18 days that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

In this edition, the festival concentrates on humour and its different forms in Arab cinema, including slapstick and political and social satire.

The topic will be discussed in a lecture titled "Humour in Arabic Film - Between Subversion and Slapstick" that is moderated by Viola Shafik, the Egyptian filmmakers Dawood Abdel Sayed, Sherif El-Bendary, film critic Kamal Ramzy, Moroccan filmmaker Zakeya Tahery and producer Ahmed Bou Shaala.

The festival will also pay homage to one of the most influential Syrian documentary producers, Omar Amiralay, who passed away in February of this year. Amiralay's film Tufan fi Balad El-Baath (A Flood in Baath Country) which shows - with an example of a dam project, a prestige-object of the Baath regime - the devastating impact of 35 years of Assad's dictatorship. Amiralay's The Misfortunes Of Some is a comic documentary about a taxi driver and funeral manager in Beirut during the civil war. Amiralay's satirical documentary Al-Dajaj (The Chickens) will also be screened in the series Focus on Humour in Arab Film.

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