Arab cinema was celebrated in the Estonian capital Tallinn during the 23rd edition of the Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), taking place from 15 November to 1 December, in cooperation with the Gouna Film Festival (GFF).
GFF founder Naguib Sawiris and co-founder Bushra Rozza attended the opening ceremony of the PÖFF for the collaborative programme entitled 'In Focus,' which is described by Gouna as "a sizzling Arabia a programme dedicated to showcasing a selection of the best productions of the past decade and a few very recent works that shouldn’t be missed."
"This programme, which is created by GFF Director Intishal Al Timimi, is the fruit of GFF’s stated objectives and collaborations to further support and promote Arab Cinema around the world," reads a statement on the GFF's official website published after the opening of the PÖFF.
The PÖFF, founded in 1997 and attended by 80,000 people annually, screened one of the In Focus films at its opening ceremony; Adam, directed by Mariam Touzani.
A total of 14 films are being screened in the In Focus programme, six of which were produced in 2019, including Samir’s Baghdad in My Shadow, Algerian director Mounia Meddour’s Papicha, Feras Fayyad’s The Cave, Sudanese director Suhaib Gasmelbari’s Talking About Trees and You Will Die at Twenty, Amjad Abu Alala’s first cinematic experience that won him several awards.
Films from previous years are Faouzi Bensaidi’s Death for Sale (2011), Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar (2013), Iraqi Odyssey (2014) by Samir, Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb (2014), Mohamed Ben Attia’s debut feature Hedi (2015), Leyla Bouzid’s first film As I Open My Eyes (2016), Saudi cinema’s feature Barakah Meets Barakah (2016) by director Mahmoud Sabagh, and The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018) by director Muayad Alayan.
The GFF, one of the richest film festival in the MENA region, wrapped up a successful third edition in September at the touristic Red Sea city of El-Gouna.
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